Students love music, and quite frankly, they love talking about music.
At the beginning of the last school year, I decided to try something out…after some careful planning and researching Close reading question types a bit, I developed close reading questions to pair with music that I knew my kids liked.
I began with the song, “Roar,” by Katie Perry. My class loved that song, and it had such great meaning; so much metaphor. It was a perfect way to analyze the text, dive into author’s purpose, and truly just have deep conversation about a text that my students already knew and loved.
Then I started thinking a bit more. Over the last couple of years, it’s been more challenging than ever to fit in social studies and history. In NY fourth grade classrooms, students are learning New York History: Native Americans, Explorers, and eventually the Revolution, and Immigration, just to name a few major topics. Why not use songs to analyze history? I have used songs in social studies/history for the past 5 years, so I knew there were songs out there that we could begin to analyze. This is the great thing about the Common Core…there is a bit of freedom to find materials of your own and to weave them into your curriculum (at least there is in my district).
I set out on a journey to find time-period music with which I would develop close reading questions. Needless to say, the kids LOVED this. Music is so powerful, especially when you can connect this to how someone was feeling during a specific time period in American history.
Check out the page dedicated to Close Reading Using Media to begin making your own lyrical analysis lessons and to borrow some of the ones already created!