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Planned Lesson Activities

Activity Name Taking a Closer Look at Song Lyrics

Approx. Time 60 min.

1. Think like a traveler: super aware of differences around us, of details, colors, language,
culture turn up the part of your brain that has a high state of awareness. More up-to-
date view of human behavior become an innovator. Track your observations. You are
the expert of your own experience no one else.
2. Poetry can
-talk about identity, discovery, family relationships, survival, change, mortality, hopes, and
-teach us about the search for self-awareness in an uncertain world
-reach the heart of the reader more quickly and intensely than a novel
-show interconnectedness of all literary genres
-enhance reading and analytical skills
(This is why we like music because songs are a form of poetry.)
3. Show YouTube video of 8
graders identifying poetic elements in poetry
(Select the
Includes: Input, Modeling and Checking for Understanding
Input: Introduce tone vs. mood. Tone is the authors thoughts/feelings on a literary
work or his/her own work. Mood is how the author intended to make the reader
Modeling: Gradual Release
(I do, you watch): Answer the question: What do you like about this song? Why? about
model for
instruction is a
basic example)

my own song lyrics for First Date by Blink-182. I like this song because it has a great
rhythm and beat and because it has meaning in my own life (connotation).
(You do, I watch): Students answer this question about their own song.
(I do, you watch): Go through the lyrics and circle important, strong words. SHOW students
how I do this with my own lyrics. Answer the question I think the artist uses the words
date and hair to because he wants listeners to think/feel what it feels like to be nervous to
go on a first date with someone new. Blooms taxonomy: understanding
(You do, I help): Students try this with their own song as I circle the room to see how they
are choosing strong words.
(I do, you watch): Go through the lyrics one more time and code the text (annotate) what
comes to mind when I read the lyrics. Finish the sentence When I listen to the song First
Date it makes me think of what it is like to go on a date with someone. Blooms
taxonomy: understanding
(You do, I watch): Let students try with their own lyrics.
(You do, I watch): Students answer the question Considering the authors words (tone),
and the how you feel in reaction to the song (mood), what overall message do you think
the artist intended with this song? Blooms taxonomy: analyzing
(You do, I watch): Students answer the question: Now, imagine that you are in a best
song competition and it is down to the final round between you and another student. Give
a reason, using evidence and your thinking above to explain why your song is better than
the other students choice. You must use at least 3 sentences to prove your point. Blooms
taxonomy: evaluating.
(I do, you watch): Model what it looks like to find examples of literary elements in song
lyrics by highlighting examples of end rhyme and repetition found in the chorus of a song.
(You do, I help): Students try to find examples in their own song lyrics. Blooms taxonomy:
Checking for Understanding:
Check for understanding with the instructions frequently with any questions? Check with
understanding by circling the room frequently and talking with individual students. Check
for understanding in the work they turn in at the end of class.

I model each question and step of the process of looking at the song lyrics. Class time is
very focused on student work time, rather than a lecture-style to encourage gradual
release of work time onto the students (workshop model)
I move around the room to determine level of mastery and to provide individual
remediation as need. (Praise, Prompt, and Leave)

The majority of this lesson is gradually released for independent practice on their own song
lyrics (workshop model). Students are guided through analyzing their lyrics with the
questions on the worksheet, and are also guided to independent practice through watching
how I model what analyzing song lyrics look like. This allows those high students to start
working on their own quicker whenever they are ready, and those lower students who still
have confusion to be working at the pace I model.

Ticket out the Door:
Think about: How did your perspective on your favorite song change after taking a closer
look at it? What literary devices did you notice in your song that you didnt notice before?
At first I thought I liked my song because ________________________________________
then, after taking a closer look at the lyrics, I realized
Blooms taxonomy: evaluating.
Materials Song lyrics
Closer Look at Poetry Protocol
First Date song

To modify: Above, I mentioned that modification looks like students can stay with me as I
model how to answer these questions with my own song.
To extend: Students can extend learning by gradually releasing more quickly on their own
looking at their own song lyrics, and by answering the questions about their own lyrics
more deeply. Also, students can extend their learning by trying to identify more complex
literary elements from the choices they are given.

Students will be assess on their annotations on the lyrics they turn in annotating
thoughts/reactions/connections to the lyrics, as well as identifying 4 examples of literary
elements in their lyrics. Students work will be assessed on the answers around tone vs.
mood that they provide on their lyrics worksheet as well. Basically, they will be assessed on
understanding, applying, and evaluating.