In the wake of the increasing tension and violence between the African American community and law enforcement, this activity was one of many that were implemented in a counter-cultural revolution unit comparing the 1960's to Black Lives Matter of today.
This can be used as a hook activity to get students engaged in the content by using music that highlights important social or political issues. There are 6 songs from 1991 to 2017. Each song can be used to highlight an important social or political issue for each of their respective decades/eras. You can implement this in a variety of ways, including putting students in small groups and providing them the handout at the beginning of class. Play a clip of each song (one at a time), project the lyrics on the board (without artist, title and year) and have them try to identify the song. You can make this a contest. Once this portion is done, have students work in their small groups to interpret the lyrics, what do they think they mean... highlight key parts of the song and annotate their interpretations in the margins. Teacher can facilitate a brief whole group discussion for each song, have groups share out their responses and end the discussion by identifying the social or political issue being addressed in the song.
Song 1: Nirvana, Smells Like Teen Spirit (1991)
Song 2: Green Day, Minority (2000)
Song 3: M.I.A, Paper Planes (2007)
Song 4: Macklemore, Same Love (2013)
Song 5: Kendrick Lamar, Alright (2015)
Song 6: Katy Perry, Chained to the Rhythm (2017)
This is a great way for students to connect to the content, but also for them to connect the importance of music and the power it can have on a generation to disseminate an important message and influence public opinion.