Lesson Plan: Harlem Renaissance
Shelby L. Carbaugh
- Harlem Renaissance – Langston Hughes
- Estimated length of lesson 90 minutes
- Standard of Learning
-Turmoil and Change: 1890’s to 1945 US II.6.c
-Source documents of increase understanding of events and life in U.S.
History from 1865 to the present USII.1a
-Sequence events USII.1c
-Interpret ideas and events from different historical perspective USII.1d
- The student will demonstrate knowledge of the social, economic, and technical
changes of the early 20th
century by examining the art, literature, and music of the
1920’s, specifically the Harlem Renaissance
- The student will demonstrate knowledge of the key leaders of the Harlem
Renaissance including Langston Hughes, Jacob Lawrence, Duke Ellington, Louis
Armstrong, and Bessie Smith
-Students will be analyzing the social, political, and economic conditions in American
society during the 1920’s,which led to the Harlem Renaissance by reading the handout
“Introduction – “Defining American Culture/Harlem Renaissance”
-Students will be organized in four groups of six students each to research for the next
class a predetermined artist of the Harlem Renaissance
Group #1 – Jacob Lawrence
Group #2 – Duke Ellington
Group #3 – Louis Armstrong
Group #4 – Bessie Smith
-In class for this plan the teacher will be presenting the writer Langston Hughes
-Text: “Horizons: United States History From Civil War to Present”
-CD’s “Ladies of Jazz” and “Golden Legends: Billie Holiday” provided my teacher
Teaching and Learning Sequence:
Introduction / Anticipatory Set
-“Ladies of Jazz” and “Billie Holiday” CD playing upon student’s arrival to class
-“Harlem Renaissance” Power Point presented by the teacher
-“Renaissance” graphic organizer (see attached hand out) will be distributed to the class.
Filling this out together as a class will help the teacher determine any prior knowledge of
the students and will introduce the concept of a “Renaissance.”
10 minutes – “Harlem Renaissance” Power Point & “Renaissance” graphic organizer
10 minutes – Discussion of previous class homework handout “Introduction – Defining
American Culture/ Harlem Renaissance” and further discussion of how the class feels
African Americans at this time could be ripe for a renaissance of their own.
10 minutes – Assignment of groups and explanation of the activity to be completed by
30 minutes – Teacher-driven lesson of Langston Hughes, that will include a biographical
WebQuest. In addition a “Free-Write” class exercise involving the poem “Dream
Variations” having students record their thoughts and opinions of how the poem reflects
the cultural “rebirth” of African Americans during the 1920’s.
Closure and Evaluation
30 minutes - Using the grid handout, the students and teacher will compare and analyze
the economic, social, political, and geographical characteristics of the Harlem
Total – 90 minutes of instruction
Langston Hughes Biography and Timeline:
Library of Congress, U.S. Government, April 23, 2000.
http://www.americaslibrary.gov/cgi-bin/page.cgi/aa/writers/hughes, accessed October 5,
Lesson Plan and Handouts:
Melcher, T. Teaching the American Twenties Exploring the Decade Through Literature
and Art. Retrieved October 5, 2008.
Green, Jr., Dr. Robert P., McGowan, Dr. Thomas N., Salvucci, Dr. Linda Kerrigan
(2003) Horizons; United States History: From Civil War to Present. In Good Times and
Bad (pages 289-290.) Orlando, Florida: Harcourt.