This unique unit integrates social studies and drama curriculum using Broadway musicals to teach about five major USA conflicts. Appropriate for grades 7th thru 10th (regular & special education with modifications).
Unit Objective: Students will be able to compare and contrast basic information on five different wars in which the USA was involved through viewing examples of the musical theatre art form.
The unit includes four complete lessons with handouts, worksheets, answer keys, and assessments. The lessons incorporate a mixture of individual work, discussion groups, and mini group performances. Although it is recommended to purchase/rent online or DVD movies, YouTube videos can be utilized if movie DVDs or online movies are not available. YouTube videos and clip links are provided in a easy-to-use webmix.
The musicals and conflicts covered are:
"1776" - Revolutionary War
"Shenandoah" - American Civil War & Vietnam War
"Oh, What a Lovely War!" - World War I
"South Pacific" - World War II
Using musicals in instruction typically takes a large amount of time since the viewing or read-thru of the musical itself takes between 1.5 - 2.5 hrs, but the impact of seeing and hearing the musical dialogue and songs make a bigger impact on the student than just reading about a situation in a textbook or doing research on the Internet.
The characters in that time period with all their thoughts, emotions, and personalities come alive for the student when working with a musical. The students are able to understand more of the political action of the story once they understand who the characters really were. Not only will the majority of students will be able to understand the subject matter and pass the assessments, but they will even leave the classroom singing some lines from the songs (which always creates smiles!).
Created by Mrs. Kateri J. Davis, Birdhouse Publications, 2015.