A research project focusing on the indigenous peoples of the United States. This project is great for the week (or two!) before Thanksgiving or incorporated into a world folk music unit.
I love when my students ask, "Why do we have to do all of this research in music class? This isn't social studies or history!" I get to reinforce with this unit how our daily lives and our environment effect the art that we create. I also use varying DOK level questions as bell ringers encouraging students to think deeper about that connection like:
How, if at all, might indigenous music might be different today without European contact and colonization?
Have Native American music and traditions become stereotyped, stylized, or appropriated in media today? How?
This project can be tailored in length to fit your students needs. I've even added extra practice time for U.S. state recognition to gain some cross-curricular points!