Lesson Plan

Inquiry in the music classroom - Collaboration between librarian and music teacher

Students use information literacy and inquiry skills to add depth to learning about and creating protest music.
Victoria R.
Media specialist/librarian
American School Foundation Of Guadalajara
Guadalajara, Mexico
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My Grades 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Students will be able to...

-analyze protest music as a primary source

-demonstrate how to curate and evaluate websources effectively

-design research question to guide inquiry

-create a protest song based on a current issue

Social Studies
Grades 5 – 8
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Introduction - protest music as a primary source

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Google Drive
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Use Thinglink to highlight 2- 3 protest songs.  Post the lyrics on the Thinglink and, as a group, annotate aspects of the song to assist in understanding the meaning. Discuss symbolism, metaphors, etc...

Then, have students in groups of 2-3, open a Google Doc and write a short statement explaining the meaning of the song based on their analysis.  

Lastly, students may review more information about the song from pre-selected websites shared by the teachers.

2 Building excitement in inquiry process

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In this step, start with a short discussion about the current issues that are the focus of many protest songs.  Make a list of student ideas using Padlet.

Have students follow an issue that interests them by exploring it on the internet.  As students find interesting articles or websites, they are to 'flip' the article into the curation tool Flipboard and write a short statement (in Flipboard) on what they found interesting about the information. This is an important step in the inquiry process to build interest and ownership of inquiry.

3 Crafting the interest question, evaluating and curating...

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Free, Paid
Google Drive
Free, Paid

At this stage, once students have had time to wonder about their issues - take them through a process to narrow their interests and design a research question/ issue question that their protest song will be about...

Use Padlet to give feedback on student designed research questions.

Once question is approved, students should continue to Flipboard curate great websites/articles on issue.

At this point do a mini lesson on 'how to evaluate websources.' Student commentary on Flipboard should show evaluation of sources using the C.R.A.P test (see here for information on C.R.A.P. test - we have created a rubric for student use based on this).

Once research time is complete, students will create a Thinglink to show their learning and make a plan for research completion.

Thinglink student requirements:  Include a photo that embodies the issue, create icons/tags that focus on - what you know, how you feel (about the issue), what you wonder about and list 20 words that come to mind when you think of your topic...

Studenst share Thinglinks with class and discuss any further research needs.  At this point, students that selected similar issues may collaborate on research and song creation.

4 Creation of protest song

Teacher leads mini lesson on ways to create/select a rythym. Using Garageband or another music craetion app

Teacher leads mini lesson on how to transform research and Thinglink ideas into a song with 4 stanzas and a repeating chorus.

Use Google Docs for teams of two to collaborate on song creation and for teacher feedback 

Once songs are completed, students share their protest songs and the class analyzes them using their primary source analysis skills.