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Dissecting Lyrics

Author: Lisa Katzer


Samuel H Daroff Elementary School

Year: 2008

Seminar: The Aesthetics of Hip Hop

Grade Level: 4

Keywords: 4th Grade, 5th grade, display, dissecting lyrics, figurative language, hip-hop, listening skills, meaning and awareness, meaningful learning, perform, rap music, vocabulary, writing poetry

School Subject(s): African American Literature, Arts, English, Language Arts, Literature, Poetry, Social Studies, Writing

This unit uses rap music to connect with students and make their learning more meaningful. I have found that the best way to manage and get the attention of a class is to create a loving, nurturing, and fun environment. For the students that are sometimes hard to reach, music may help create that kind of environment.

The curriculum unit that follows is a two week program of “Dissecting Lyrics” for fourth or fifth grade students. It utilizes rap music to teach the Pennsylvania state standards. The purpose is to develop student vocabulary and listening skills, as well as learning and understanding figurative language. There is some concentration on finding meaning and awareness of the world, socially, culturally, and politically. The materials being used are lyrics from compact disc jackets, books, and from the internet. The final project has students writing poetry and lyrics for songs. The end of the two week exploration should be marked with a celebration in which students display, and perform, the work that reflects the two weeks immersed in Hip-Hop.

Download Unit: LisaKatzer-2.pdf

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