Protest songs serve as a means to combat social ills and cover a wide array of topics, including racism, sexism, poverty, imperialism, environmental degradation, war, and homophobia. This lesson makes a connection to popular culture by asking students to work in pairs to research and analyze contemporary and historic protest songs. After learning about wikis, each pair posts their analysis of the protest songs to a class wiki, adding graphics, photos, and hyperlinks as desired. The class then works together to organize the entries. Finally, students listen to all of the protest songs and add information and comments to each other's pages.
This lesson works well with a unit focusing on a piece of literature in which a character(s) actively fights for social, political, or economic justice. For example, this lesson can build on a discussion of the issues that Atticus Finch contends with in To Kill a Mockingbird.
Subject(s): English Language Arts
Grade Level(s): 9, 10
Document Camera, Computer for Presenter, Computers for Students, Internet Connection, LCD Projector, Speakers/Headphones
Keywords: protest songs, wiki, social problems, figurative language, collaboration, reflection
The resource is highly adaptable and engages the students at a high level of interest. Despite the fact that the lesson is centered around using wikis, and therefore computer based, the lesson can still be executed with some creativity without using computers. Further, though the lesson is designed for writing to learn it also supports developing skills in technical/informative reading and reading interpretive materials. The link to the article "Make Way for Wikis" is currently not working, but the other article is available.
This resource is provided by ReadWriteThink.org, a website developed by the International Reading Association, the National Council of Teachers of English, with support from the Verizon Foundation.
Source and Access Information
Name of Author/Source: readwritethink.org
District/Organization of Contributor(s): Jefferson
Is this Resource freely Available? Yes
Access Privileges: Public
* Please note that examples of resources are not intended as complete curriculum.