I teach 8th grade struggling readers, and "Fresh Beats Friday" is the highlight of our week!
-Students submit song recommendations [I have a clipboard out at all times where they can write down their name / song title / artist]
-I sort through to find a song that is appropriate and has adequate depth for analyzing
-I print a copy of the lyrics for each student (I suggest genius.com) that also includes questions I wrote (e.g. What is the main idea? Circle the simile + what does the simile mean? etc.)
-We start class by watching the music video (or lyric video if music video is not appropriate)
-We analyze the song and answer the questions in small group (I do rotations with my kiddos, but you could certainly do this whole class). We are in small group somewhere between 10 and 15 minutes (though if you have more time, you could go even deeper!)
-The 2nd to last week I handed the students the lyrics only and had THEM write the questions and answers. I highly recommend it!
-The last week I had them create accounts on genius.com and add their own annotations on songs we had previously analyzed as a class (in the future, I will probably have them create the accounts earlier in the year and let them do this 2-3 times).
-My awesome middle school teacher helped us master literary devices by doing "song of the week" when I was in 7th grade. We LOVED it.
-In grad school I researched the use of song lyrics as text. There are many benefits such as: engaging/motivating, offers student voice/choice, great for creating text sets, perfect example of everyday literacies, useful for fluency practice, facilitates transmediation, can be an avenue for culturally relevant pedagogy.
-Please note that these songs are not appropriate for all students.
-These are meant as models to help you write your own questions--please let your students recommend their own songs!!
*All Time Low
*Do for Love
*Hold on til May
*If I ain't got You
*Little More Royalty
*Love on the Brain
*Move too Fast
*Too Many Years
*Treat me like Somebody
*Yo Excuse Me Miss