Tag Archives: black history

The Weekly Text, Friday 27 January 2023: History of Hip-Hop Lesson 8, James Brown Brings the Funk

This week’s Text is the eighth lesson plan of the History of Hip-Hop Unit. I’ve begun this lesson with this Cultural Literacy worksheet on the Civil Rights Movement. This is a full-page document with a paragraph-length reading (seven sentences, to be exact) and six comprehension questions, so depending on your idea of a do-now exercise, this one might exceed proper length. Fortunately, like nearly everything else on Mark’s Text Terminal, this document is formatted in Microsoft Word, so you can edit, adapt, and revise freely.

The main part of this lesson is this reading on James Brown and its accompanying worksheet with seven comprehension questions. Finally, here are the the lyrics to “Say It Loud, I”m Black and I’m Proud,” one of the many great songs James Brown recorded. My version of this lesson includes playing the song.

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

The Weekly Text, Friday 20 January 2023: History of Hip-Hop Lesson 7, Muddy Waters Invents Electricity: The Electric Blues after World War II

Here is the seventh lesson plan of the History of Hip-Hop. I begin this lesson with this Cultural Literacy worksheet on de facto segregation.

The mainstay of this lesson is this reading on Muddy Waters and its accompanying comprehension questions worksheet and organizer. As this lesson involves listening to some of Muddy Waters’ music, here is a document with the lyrics for two songs: the first is “I’m a Man,” a blues chestnut and proto-civil rights anthem, which Muddy apparently co-wrote with Elias McDaniel, aka Bo Diddley; the second is “Who Do You Love?”, one of Bo Diddley’s hits and one of the baddest, in my not even remotely humble opinion, rock-and-roll songs ever written or recorded (and it has been covered extensively). Finally, here is a worksheet with analytical questions for these lyrics.

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

The Weekly Text, Friday 13 January 2023: History of Hip-Hop Lesson 6, Woody Guthrie, American Troubadour

This week’s Text is lesson plan six of the History of Hip-Hop Unit. I open this lesson with this Cultural Literacy worksheet on Marian Anderson.

For the first part of this lesson, you’ll need this reading on Woody Guthrie with its attendant comprehension worksheet. For the second part, you’ll need the lyrics to “Pretty Boy Floyd,” one of Woody’s most famous songs, and this research organizer for short work on Pretty Boy Floyd which students use, along with some basic research on the internet, to understand the song and its origins.

Incidentally, and to my considerable surprise, the students to whom I have delivered this lesson were quite interested in the song, if not Woody Guthrie himself. For that reason, I have designated and so tagged this post as containing high-interest materials.

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

The Weekly Text, Friday 6 January 2023: History of Hip-Hop Lesson 5, The Emigre Griots: The Birth of the Blues in the Southern United States

Happy New Year!

Let’s move right along to the fifth lesson plan of the History of Hip-Hop unit, this one on the birth of the blues in the southern United States, with a particular emphasis on a huge figure in global culture, the blues artist nonpareil Robert Johnson. I open this lesson with this Cultural Literacy worksheet on the Deep South. The main work of this lesson is this reading on Robert Johnson along with its accompanying comprehension worksheet. Finally, here are the lyrics to one of his most famous songs, “Sweet Home Chicago,” now a blues standard, which I play for students during the lesson.

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

Russell Banks on Linton Kwesi Johnson

He is, of course, a top-notch poet, and his bittersweet poems can indeed make us weak, make us feel incomplete. In 2002 he became the second living and first black poet to have his selected poems published in England in the Penguin Classics series. He is Jamaican by birth, and though he has resided for most of his adult life in England, where he took a university degree in sociology, he writes in Jamaican Creole. Not a dialect, not strictly a ‘patois,’ either, and not a mere post-colonial version of Standard English, Jamaican Creole is a language created out of hard necessity by African slaves from 17th century British English and West African, mostly Ashanti, language groups, with a lexical admixture from the Caribe and Arawak natives of the island. It is a powerfully expressive, flexible, and, not surprisingly, musical vernacular, sustained and elaborated upon for over four hundred years by the descendants of those slaves, including those who, like LKJ, have migrated out of Jamaica in the second great diaspora for England, Canada, and the United States. Fortunately, its grammar and orthography like that of pre-18th century British English, have never been rigidly formalized or fixed by an academy of notables or any authoritative dictionary. It is, therefore, a living, organically evolving language intimately connected to the lived experience of its speakers.”

Excerpted from: Banks, Russell, “Introduction,” in Johnson, Linton Kwesi. Mi Revalueshenary Fren. Port Townshend, Washington: Copper Canyon Press, 2006.

The Weekly Text, Friday 30 December 2022: History of Hip-Hop Lesson 4, The Griot in African Culture

Moving right along with this big unit on Hip-Hop, here is the fourth lesson plan, on the West African griot tradition (which should not be confused with the Haitian dish of the same name). This is a key lesson in this process. I open this lesson with this context clues worksheet on the noun griot.

Because this lesson includes a viewing of the video for the song, here are lyrics to the Afropop song “Shaking the Tree,” a collaboration between British rock star Peter Gabriel and the Senegalese griot (he descends from a family of griots) Youssou N’Dour. Finally, at the center of this lesson is this reading and comprehension worksheet, which is also meant to spur discussion, on the griot tradition in Africa.

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

The Weekly Text, Friday 2 December 2022: History of Hip-Hop Prelude Lesson

During the pandemic lockdown, on 27 August 2020, I posted a trove of documents under the title A Tentative Start to a Unit on the History of Hip-Hop. Basically, it was a longish essay larded with documents with which I’d been struggling for years to synthesize into a real unit. Last year, the impetus and time such an endeavor requires came together; I was able to assemble a seventeen-lesson, reasonably cogent unit out of the materials, augmented with newer material that I published in that original post in the late summer of 2020.

My aim in this unit is to situate Hip-Hop in the broader global oral tradition. I began this unit initially, and begin it now, with these two apercus from Chuck D (Carlton Douglas Ridenhour) from the seminal Hip-Hop group Public Enemy:“We’re almost like headline news…. Rap music is the invisible TV station that Black America never had….”; “Rap is the CNN of young Black people.” So, to start off this unit, here is the prelude lesson to the History of Hip-Hop Unit along with the worksheet for prompting discussion of the statements above from Chuck D.

From the planning materials folder for this unit, here is the unit planthe lesson-plan template, and the worksheet template so that you can add lessons or alter them to fit the needs of your classroom. When I passed this unit by some colleagues, they all asked questions along the lines of “No Bob Dylan?” A fair question, since there is abundant evidence of Dylan’s influence on Hip-Hop. Another possible lesson would call upon students to make the connection between Dub music and Hip-Hop; there is, I think, a reason beyond fashion cool that Jay-Z was seen in a t-shirt bearing the Tuff Gong Recording Studios logo. So, as I assembled the materials for this unit, I did so with the idea that ultimately I might add lessons, or, indeed, break this into two units.

I also cached some Cultural Literacy and context clues worksheets in this unit’s planning materials folder for future use. Here they are if you want them:

Cultural Literacy: active voice; aka; aphorism; blank verse; circumlocution; comedy; complex sentence; complex-compound sentence; compound sentence; conjunctions; contraction; couplet; cultural imperialism; demagogue; denotation; double entendre, and four-letter word.

Context Clues: ad hominem; charisma-charismatic; infer, and oppress.

Finally, as I have mentioned to the point of tedium on this blog, all but one of the documents in this sixteen-lesson unit are formatted in Microsoft Word. That means you can adapt, alter, revise, edit, and generally manipulate them to suit the needs of your classroom.

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

The Weekly Text, 5 August 2022: A Lesson Plan for the Final Assessment of the Conjunctions Unit

Ok, here is the final lesson plan of the conjunctions unit, which is a sentence-writing review as a unit-concluding assessment. I open this lesson with this worksheet on the homophones peak and peek; if the unit goes into a second day (it very likely will, and perhaps even a third), here is an Everyday Edit the desegregation of Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, which Melba Patillo Beals experienced first hand as one of the Little Rock Nine, and about which she has written eloquently.

This sentence-writing practice assessment worksheet is the final assessment for this unit.

And with this post, the entire cycle of units I wrote to teach the parts of speech is now available on Mark’s Text Terminal. I don’t know how many lessons in total it is, but if it is not 100, it’s close. I hope you find some or all of this material useful. After seven years of piecemeal posting of these materials, they’re all here.

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

The Weekly Text, 29 July 2022: A Lesson Plan on Correlative Conjunctions (Part 2)

This week’s Text is the second of two lessons on using correlative conjunctions. The first was published here last Friday. If you scroll down eight or so posts below this one, you’ll find it.

I open this lesson with this Everyday Edit worksheet on Charles R. Drew, the surgeon and researcher on blood transfusions. (And don’t forget that you can help yourself to a yearlong supply of Everyday Edit worksheets over at Education World.) If the lesson spills over into a second day, here is a second do-now worksheet on the homophones peace and piece.

This scaffolded worksheet is the center of this unit, and I expect that this teacher’s copy of the worksheet will make delivering the lesson a bit easier for you.

That’s it. I’ll post the final lesson in this unit–and the final lesson of all the Parts of Speech Units on this blog–next week.

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

The Weekly Text, 15 July 2022: A Lesson Plan on Subordinating Conjunctions (Part 2)

This week’s Text is the second of two related lessons on subordinating conjunctions. The first appeared last week, and so is several posts down.

This lesson opens with this Everyday Edit worksheet on Booker T. Washington. And as always remember that the good people at Education World generously distribute a yearlong supply of these documents at no cost to teachers. If the lesson continues into a second day, here is a second do-now exercise on the homophones grate and great; n.b. please that grate here is dealt with both as a noun and a verb.

To teach this lesson, you’ll need this scaffolded worksheet; I imagine this teacher’s copy of same will be useful while working through all of this.

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.