Using music to teach students how to use elements of literature terms, like theme, character, setting, conflict is a tried-and-true method in the English classroom.
As an added bonus, your students will no longer groan at hearing the term "close-reading" after you complete a close reading with them by using the song "Issues." The handout I created (and modified to remove profanity) will allow them to engage in critical thinking, as they will need to analyze "what" is being said and then synthesize their findings to figure out "why" it's important!
When paired with my differentiated lesson plans for writing a 21st-Century position paper, students of all abilities will connect and engage in learning that best meets their unique needs. Click the following link to preview those plans, and please check out my store for other differentiated lesson plans for the English classroom: