Celebrating Black History Month with the Sounds of African-American Music: Jazz and Hip-Hop
Have you heard of jazz or hip-hop? Which genre is your favorite? Catered to students in kindergarten, first grade, and second grade, this lesson plan discusses the origin of both jazz and hip-hop and how these two types of music have their roots in African American communities. As students learn about the musical genres, they will practice their opinion writing skills by picking which type of music they like best. The lesson plan Celebrating Black History Month with the Sounds of African American Music: Jazz and Hip-Hop is a rich educational activity combining reading and writing skills with culture history.
Students will be able to use invented spelling to write about their preference between jazz music and hip-hop music.
- Ask students to share what kind of music they enjoy listening to.
- Tell students that in honor of Black History Month, we will be celebrating two types of music that were greatly influenced by African-American artists: jazz and hip-hop.
- Ask students to share what they know about jazz and/or hip-hop music.
- Tell students that jazz music is a kind of music that got its start in African-American communities in New Orleans. In jazz music, musicians often play solos that they make up on the spot. It has a call and response pattern where one instrument or voice answers the call of another.
- Explain to students that hip-hop music is a kind of music that got its start with African-Americans living in the inner cities. Hip-hop music contains rapping (a rhyming speech that is chanted) and DJing (mixing sounds and scratching a turn table).
Explicit Instruction/Teacher modeling(10 minutes)
- Introduce students to a brief history of jazz music using the History of Jazz worksheet as a resource.
- Play students a sample of jazz music (see Related Books and/or Media).
- Ask students to raise their hands and share what they thought of jazz music. For example, how did it make them feel, what kinds of instruments did they hear, and did they enjoy it?
- Introduce students to a brief history of hip-hop music using the History of Hip-Hop Music worksheet as a resource.
- Play students a sample of hip-hop music (see Related Books and/or Media).
- Ask students to raise their hands and share what they thought of hip-hop music. For example, how did it make them feel, what was different about hip-hop music from jazz music, and did they enjoy it?
Guided Practice(10 minutes)
- Instruct students to take a moment to think about which type of music they enjoyed listening to and why they enjoyed one type of music over another.
- Tell students to turn to a neighbor to share which music they liked best.
- Ask students to give you a thumbs up when both students have had an opportunity to share, and call on a few volunteers to share their opinions.
- As a model for the writing lesson, say to students, "After listening to jazz and hip-hop music, I think I like hip-hop music better because it makes me want to dance." Write out the sentence on the board.
- Model for students how you use invented spelling to write your sentence by stretching your words, isolating sounds, and writing the sounds you hear on the board.
Independent working time(20 minutes)
- Distribute lined paper or writing journals to students.
- Tell students to write about what type of music they enjoyed listening to more (jazz or hip-hop ), to provide one reason why, and to draw a picture that matches.
- Circulate around the room to provide students support in generating ideas and using invented spelling.
- Optional: Play some jazz and hip-hop music as students are working (see Related Books and/or Media).
- Give students the option to draw and label instead of writing a sentence during Independent Work Time.
- Provide students with a sentence frame to assist them in the writing process. The sentence frame could read: I like ____ music because ____.
- Ask students to provide more than one reason for why they prefer one type of music over another.
- Ask students to add more details to their writing by incorporating details such as what they like to do when they listen to this music, where they would listen to this music, and how it makes them feel.
- Ask students to bring their writing to the rug and to sit in a circle.
- Tell students they are each going to read their writing aloud and share their picture.
- Remind students how to be respectful listeners by looking at the person who is reading, not talking, and paying attention.
- As students are reading their writing aloud, listen to see that they specified which type of music they liked best and provided one reason explaining why.
Review and closing(5 minutes)
- Place two jars in the front of the classroom with the labels "Jazz Music" and "Hip-Hop Music."
- Distribute a single math manipulative to each student (i.e. counter or unifix cube).
- Ask students to vote on the music they like best by placing their math manipulative in the jar with the correct label.
- Model for students how to count the manipulatives in each jar aloud to see which music is more popular.
- Draw a simple bar graph with the results on the board for students to be able to visualize how their classmates voted.