The overarching question for this unit asks students to think about whether America has matured over time. The majority of the themes emerging from this unit require students to understand the notion, Coming of Age, and how it describes the transition between childhood and adulthood. There are many connotations that will determine students' comprehension of the unit's big ideas. For some cultures, Coming of Age determines the age when a child is no longer a minor. Similarly, it could mean the age when a child hits puberty. For the literature and activities done throughout the rest of this unit, students' understanding will refer to moving from an immature state of mind to the pursuit of more grown-up, mature thinking.
To begin this lesson, I pose this question on the whiteboard,
What are some verbs associated with Coming of Age?
Students can answer this question independently, in pairs, or in groups. Allow students to present their responses to the entire class. At the end of this activity, students will have introduced multiple perspectives on a particular idea. Here is a Coming of Age association example that was developed by students at this point in the lesson!
It can be difficult for students to translate what it means to leave their childhood behind. In order to develop arguments (claims) for this introductory lesson, students will use literature and music to associate with the problems and challenges of maturing in life whether it is influenced by age and/or circumstances.
In the Living Without Unit, students read various genres of literature that depicted the expansion of America during pre-Colonial times. To date, students are wrapping up their ideas of America and looking at how the country proves it maturity in the twenty-first century. To understand some progression of the United States in earlier times, students will listen to this rap song on the freedoms of the Revolutionary War.
The introduction of music above allows students to hear how music can (1) reveal what's going on in history and (2) infer and conclude how our nation has matured from the challenges of past histories. To continue understanding the idea of how America has Come of Age, students work independently to analyze the songs heard about the maturity of America. To guide their level of thinking, I provide a analyze different mediums handout which states the processes needed to evaluate the instrumentation, vocals, and audience the song is geared towards.
I play a very essential role in this activity since I control the length of time each song is played aloud in class. Depending on your class time, all songs can be heard through its entire duration or long enough for students to evaluate the instruments and vocals. The process I use to guide students through this activity starts with playing each song listed below
Next, students independently work to answer questions about what's heard at their seats. Finally, we share as a class discoveries made for each musical selection. See a talk over student work video now to understand what could possibly be produced by students during this portion of the lesson! While I chose to talk after each heard song, another possibility is to allow students to hear all of the songs then wait to hold a discussion as a class about what was heard similarly and differently with each selection.