Piecing Together the History & Elements of Spoken Work: 4 Activities!
Spoken word is diverse and old. Help your students better understand spoken word by piecing together its cultural history and how its form consists of so many literary, performance, and artistic elements.
In this lesson, students will have the opportunity to participate in 4 different activities organized around two prompts: 1) Spoken word can trace its history through these cultures & works, and 2) These are the elements of spoken word.
In the Map It task, students will identify the locations of 20+ cultures and works and then physically map them to demonstrate the diversity and commonalities within the cultural makeup of spoken word.
In the Timeline task, students identify prominent time periods for each of the cultures and works and display them on a timeline in your classroom. This help students internalize how spoken word is an ancient art form and how its evolved and continues to evolve today.
The 3rd activity is the History Grab Bag where students select a culture or work, design 4 research questions, use their available resources, and answer those questions. It provides an excellent opportunity for students to practice researching, finding credible sources, and avoiding plagiarism.
The 4th and final activity is the Definitions Grab Bag where students select elements of spoken word, find its definition, write it on the back of the card, and then sort with their classmates all of the elements to show their relationship to each other.
Unique details of this lesson?
- The opportunities for differentiation are outstanding. From ELLs, to varied ability learners, to learning preferences, and the time and resources you have available, these activities have you covered.
- It's mix and match! How you organize, order, or select the various activities is easy to do. Task cards, student guide sheets, 80+ culture & element cards are all ready for you to use.
- Students can learn on their own or from their peers.
- Activities are designed not only to teach content but serve as a way to gauge prior skill levels in researching, sorting, determining relationships, spatial and temporal understanding, and making judgments.
Each activity can be completed within a 50-minute to 90-minute class period, depending on how you differentiate within your classroom and the availability of research materials.
This detailed lesson includes:
- Aligned CCSS Anchor Standards
- Aligned Teaching Tolerance & Anti-Bias Anchor Standards
- Teacher Tips
- 2 Prompts
- 4 Task Cards
- 80+ culture, works, and element cards (+ 5 blank ones for your own additions)
- Student sheet to help them document what other groups learned in their respective activities
- A student guide into diving deeper into the history of spoken word (reflection & research)
- Forms for students to document their research questions, sources, and findings
Skills developed in this lesson
- Making logical inferences
- Integrating & evaluating content presented in diverse formats
- Writing informative/explanatory texts accurately through the effective selection, organization, & analysis of content
- Research to build & present knowledge based on focused questions, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation
- Developing positive social identities based on their membership in multiple groups in society
- Respectfully expressing curiosity about the history & lived experiences of others & will engage ideas & beliefs in an open-minded way
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Sincerely, Beth Salyers
Off The Beaten Path - Curriculum & Instruction
If you like this lesson, check out these:
Drafting a Definition & Understanding of Spoken Word
The Canon Project: Thinking Critically When Evaluating Text & Media
You Call That Music? Investigating how Structure, Technique, and Word Choice Matter
Star-Spangled Style: How Style, Imagery, & Voice Matter