Songs To Explore Identity: Critical Thinking Question Slides & Digital Notebook

Rated 4.75 out of 5, based on 16 reviews
16 Ratings
Mochas and Markbooks
Grade Levels
9th - 12th
Formats Included
  • PDF
60 pages
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Mochas and Markbooks


When our students look through mirrors that offer experiences that are similar to their own, it can boost self-esteem and a sense of belonging. When we teach students to look through mirrors that have perspectives different than their own, it creates empathy and acceptance. Using music to create these "mirrors" provides a safe, inclusive learning environment where students can feel comfortable reflecting and sharing.

These slides and printable or digital student notebook are ideal for bell-ringer activities, diagnostic activities, projects and more!

Here's what other educators are saying about this resource:

  • "As a 9-12 educator, this is a must-buy. Honest story... I used this for my observation and my principal told me it was the best lesson he has ever seen." - Lindsey F.

  • "My students loved this resource! I used it as part of a Self Discovery unit, and it added such a great pop culture element that was very relatable for my seniors. I look forward to using it again and again!" - Intuition and Heart

*File contains a PDF with the printable student notebook. The links to the Google Slides and digital student notebook are in the Teacher's Guide on page 4 of the PDF*

When you purchase this resource, you will receive:

(1) 60 critical thinking question slides in Google Slides

  • Each slide has a clickable link to a music video for a song with an identity theme
  • Each slide contains two critical thinking questions that require students to think about the identity issue, how it is presented in the song or video, and how they can make connections

(2) Printable PDF Student Notebook

  • Contains teacher's guide with suggestions for instruction and assessment considerations
  • Contains a rubric for student notebook
  • Contains a table of contents, and index of themes
  • 60 pages of notebook for student answers
  • Optional final project with rubric

(3) Digital Student Notebook in Google Slides

  • Exactly like the PDF notebook except in Google Slides with editable text box overlays for student answers
  • Each notebook page has a clickable link to the music video being studied

The songs & videos included are:

  • Black Parade - Beyonce
  • Hair - Lady Gaga
  • Indomitable - DJ Shub ft. Northern Cree Singers
  • Look What You Made Me Do - Taylor Swift
  • Lithium - Nirvana
  • Royals - Lorde
  • Wild Things - Alessia Cara
  • Castle on the Hill - Ed Sheeran
  • Graveyard - Halsey
  • Sober - Demi Lovato
  • Hurt - Johnny Cash
  • La Diaspora - Nitty Scott ft. Zap Mama
  • Hero of War - Rise Against
  • Try - Colbie Callait
  • Good Mother - Jann Arden
  • Legacy - Fefe Dobson
  • The House That Built Me - Miranda Lambert
  • Who You Are - Jessie J
  • The Joke - Brandi Carlile
  • Grow As We Go - Ben Platt
  • Human - Christina Perri
  • Lose You To Love Me - Selena Gomez
  • River - Leon Bridges
  • You Say - Lauren Daigle
  • The Village - Wrabel
  • Unpretty - TLC
  • Elastic Heart - Sia
  • Because of You - Kelly Clarkson
  • This Is Me - The Greatest Showman Cast
  • Secrets - Mary Lambert
  • She - Hayley Kiyoko
  • Father's Daughter - Jewel ft. Dolly Parton
  • Learn to Let Go - Kesha
  • Older Than I am - Lennon Stella
  • Resilient - Rising Appalachia
  • Still Here - Red Eagle
  • My Future - Billie Eilish
  • Homecoming Queen? - Kelsea Ballerini
  • The Man - Taylor Swift
  • Brave - Sara Bareilles
  • I Am Not My Hair - India.Arie ft. Akon
  • All Nations Rise - Lyla June
  • Q.U.E.E.N - Janelle Monae ft. Erykah Badu
  • Smile - Jay-Z ft. Gloria Carter
  • No Matter What - Calum Scott
  • In My Blood - Shawn Mendes
  • Don't Let Me Get Me - Pink
  • Immigrants (We Get The Job Done) - The Hamilton Mixtape: K'Naan ft. Residente, Riz MC & Snow the Product
  • Kids - MGMT
  • What You Waiting For? - Gwen Stefani
  • Cold Little Heart - Michael Kawanuka
  • Perfect To Me - Anne-Marie
  • Jealousy, Jealousy - Olivia Rodrigo
  • Four Women - Nina Simone
  • Rehab - Amy Winehouse
  • I'm Not Pretty - Jessia
  • Freedom - Jon Batiste
  • Mess It Up - Gracie Abrams
  • Everytime - Britney Spears
  • House With No Mirrors - Sasha Sloan

Links to music videos last checked on 6/21/2022

*If you encounter any links not working, please let me know through the TPT Q&A tab or email and I will update the resource as soon as I can!


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Total Pages
60 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
Evaluate a speaker’s point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric.


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