By examining song lyrics, students will begin to see that music is as much a vehicle of self-expression and communication than written texts. And just like students examine an author's craft in order to better understand a text, they will do several close readings with this question in mind: How does a songwriter, lyricist, or author use specific story elements to engage listeners and drive their message?
Teachers will need to make some adjustments to the lesson--based on student population, interest, age, etc.--and I have included several pages as "cheat-sheets" to help with this. From listening and doing a close read as a class to partner close-reads, from independent song analysis to a creative final project, this learning activity engages with several dynamic texts in ways that touch on all ELA Learning Target Domains. By looking at Story Elements through music, students benefit from an activity that requires reading, writing, listening and speaking.