Your students listen to hip hop and rap, so why not bring this engaging art form into the classroom.
This lesson focuses on the two main rap battles in Hamilton: the musical, Cabinet Battles I and 2. Students will study the cabinet battles-- between Hamilton and Jefferson and moderated by Washington-- for content and context. An assist from the songs “Satisfied” and “Guns and Ships” show students a variety of rapping styles and a video clip of “Drop the Mic” from the Late Late Show with James Cordon reflects the over the top presentation skills needed to beat an opponent in a rap battle
In small groups, students will create and perform a rap as an argument and battle against an adversary team. The winner moves on and the losing team gets lost to history. An audience participation handout is included for students to take notes and follow the rap battles as well as weigh in on the best rap. Rubrics are included for both the rap and the argument writing prompt that asks students to make a case for their notable person’s legacy. The lessons are contained on an extractable zipfile and are provided in PDF and EDITABLE MS Word.
Key words: Rationalists, Age of Enlightenment, argument, counterargument, musical theater, Nicki Minaj, Eminem, Drake, PBL