I use this activity as a fun way to introduce the Cold War (and sometimes Billy Joel too) to students in my American History Class. This Activity has 5 handouts listed below:
1. List of 33 Historical and 33 Cultural Terms used in the song.
+ I cut the terms up and put them in 2 separate bowls and have students select 1 term from each cup. They then have to research the term. (Have to use internet - most will not be in the textbook.)
2. Template for How Information Should Be Presented
+ Tell students they need their name, an important historical year (not their DOB), picture and a short historical summary of the person/event. (Half sheet of paper for each person.)
3. My Personal Example of what their work should look like.
+ I like to present it to them the day before and emphasize why I picked the year - not because of D.O.B.
**I create a long timeline on one of my classroom walls. (Put up some years 1945, 1955, 1965, 1975, 1985, 1990). And have students present each of their words to the class and then tape them up to the timeline based on the year they picked. Presentations should be short 30 seconds to 1 minute for each.**
4. Graphic Organizer for Cold War Terms Presented
+ Students fill out a bullet point for each person/term being presented by their peers.
5. Background Information & Lyric Sheet for We Didn't Start the Fire
+ We read background information as a class (and I like to point out to them that rockstars and history teachers are that close on the coolness scale...haha.)
+ Then we listen to the song and they have the lyrics in front of them. I like to use this site...guy did an awesome job (http://yeli.us/Flash/Fire.html).
As a culminating activity I have students write a song that is a timeline of their life. (I will let you decide if you want to do this or not.)
Hope your students enjoy this as much as mine do.