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This Power Point Presentation is a collection of lessons that make up a ten class unit on critical media literacy.

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  1. 1. Art vs. Reality
  2. 2. Lesson 1: Popular Music <ul><li>Introduction: This lesson will introduce the present condition of Popular music. It will be focused on Hip Hop. This lesson will show how today’s popular music is very sexualized and simplistic. The lesson will also provide a comparison between a more recent popular song, from 2008, and an older popular song from 1998. </li></ul><ul><li>Objectives: To provide the students with a first glance at critical media literacy and to prompt excitement about intelligently discussing the media. Students will hopefully understand the importance of analysing commercial entertainment. </li></ul><ul><li>Materials : -Projector screen or smart board. </li></ul><ul><li>- Computer with internet access. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Activity: <ul><li>Step 1: Set up Projector and computer: </li></ul><ul><li>- Connect computer to the following links: </li></ul><ul><li>Lil’ Wayne’s “Lollipop” video, 2008: http:// = vmAOFIYBOvM&feature = PlayList&p =A0CFEEDE8E530E92&index=1 </li></ul><ul><li>Lauryn Hill’s “That Thing” video, 1998: </li></ul><ul><li>http:// = lMRiudMgHCs </li></ul><ul><li>Step 2: Hand out Lyrics to “Lollipop” and “That Thing” (attached to website) </li></ul><ul><li>Step 3: Play the Lil’ Wayne video. </li></ul><ul><li>Step 4: - Clear desks from the centre and create a circle with chairs. </li></ul><ul><li>- Initiate discussion about the music video. What did you think? What did you like and what did you not like? </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Step 4: Look over the lyrics to the Lil’ Wayne song and ask for opinions. </li></ul><ul><li>Step 5: Play the Lauryn Hill song for the class. </li></ul><ul><li>Step 6: Have another “round table” discussion about the Lauryn Hill song. Go over the </li></ul><ul><li>lyrics of “That Thing” by Lauryn Hill and compare them to the lyrics for the Lil’ </li></ul><ul><li>Wayne song. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Lesson 2:Origins of Hip Hop Culture <ul><li>Introduction: This lesson will focus on the origins of what is now known as Hip Hop culture. The students will be able to learn about the history of the music genre and a little about the social demographics of cities like New York. </li></ul><ul><li>Objectives: The students will engage in learning by discovery. They will acquire knowledge about the history of Hip Hop and be able to understand the dynamics of creating a cultural group. They will be able to do some “learning by discovery”. The students should also gain and understanding of art and, how and why it is created. </li></ul><ul><li>This lesson should take 2-3 classes. If they finish in 2 classes have the groups try the other activities. </li></ul><ul><li>Materials: - A computer lab </li></ul>
  6. 6. Activity: <ul><li>Step 1: Ask the students to get out their note books and write some brief notes on the following lecture. The information was taken from: </li></ul><ul><li>Higgins, Dalton. (2009). Hip Hop World . Toronto. Groundwood Books. </li></ul><ul><li>popular culture has been a significant source of cultural and social identity. </li></ul><ul><li>Hip Hop has been hugely popular with adolescents since the 1970s and 80s. This genre of music has created a culture in and of itself, and has had a huge following. Higgins (2009) explained the origins of Hip Hop and rap, and its significance to North American history. “What we now refer to as hip hop has its roots in decaying 1970s South Bronx neighbourhoods where unemployment rates among young blacks and Latinos were sky-high, running between 60 and 80 percent” (Higgins, 2009, 16). Higgins continued to explain how Hip Hop first came about when a Jamaican man by the name of DJ Kool Herc, hosted parties in some of the underdeveloped neighbourhoods of New York City. Present at these events, were gang members from opposing groups, who bonded through music and dance (Higgins, 2009). Thus, a group of people with common interests and beliefs was created. This is the foundation of culture. </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>Step 2: Divide the class into four groups of students. Each of the group will be assigned to a subculture which is associated with Hip Hop Culture: For example: </li></ul><ul><li>Group 1: Breakdancers </li></ul><ul><li>Group 2: The “MCs” </li></ul><ul><li>Group 3: Graffitti Writers </li></ul><ul><li>Group 4: The “DJs” </li></ul><ul><li>Step 3: Explain to the students that they will each have a job to do, such as the </li></ul><ul><li>following: Group 1 - The Breakdancers will be asked to visit the follwing website: </li></ul><ul><li> / </li></ul><ul><li>and will be asked to create a coreography to the following song: The coreography can consist of any moves or gestures (use discretion and judge if something seems inappropriate or dangerous). The students will be asked to explain their choices, so make sure they write it down! There should be some relevance to the song. </li></ul><ul><li>Group 2 - The MCs will write lyrics in a “word file” in the form of poetry. They don’t need music yet. They will later be able to perform them using the music that the DJs come up with if they would like. </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>Group 3- This group has the artists who will draw or paint. They will be asked to choose a “powerful” word, like “justice” or “freedom”. They will then be asked to visit the following website: </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Group 4- This group has the DJs. They will need the computer. They will use a program (that needs to be payed for) that allows you to create “techno” music mixes. The link is provided here: / </li></ul><ul><li>The “DJ” group will put together different beats and sounds. They will create a piece and explain why they chose each sound/beat and why they put it in a particular order. Their reasons do not have to be deep. It’s just to get an understanding of why artists choose to create things in a particular way. The students must write down what they did in enough detail to be able to re-create it the next day. This must be done because unless you pay for the program you cannot save your work. </li></ul><ul><li>Step 4: Allow the students class time to work on this project for at least 2 classes. During the last 30 mins of the last class, the students will present their work. </li></ul><ul><li>Step 5: At the end of this lesson, explain for about 7 minutes how the students all played a role in contributing to a particular societal or cultural group. Also explain how art is not created for nothing. There is (or should be) meaning behind creation. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Lesson 3: Musicals and cultural issues <ul><li>Introduction : This lesson will be an introduction to musicals and how they can prompt discussions about culture and society. The musical that will be used is that of “West Side Story”. This musical displays issues relating to gang warfare and the experience of minority groups in North America. </li></ul><ul><li>Objectives: The students should gain an understanding of culture and the obstacles facing minority groups in North America. The students will be able to connect their own life experiences, with the new information about musicals and the representation of culture. Finally the students should understand how Hip Hop Culture connects to other cultures and vice versa. </li></ul><ul><li>This lesson should take 1 and ½ classes. </li></ul><ul><li>Materials : -Smart Board or Projector screen. </li></ul><ul><li>- Computer with internet access. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Activity <ul><li>Step 1 : The students will have a viewing of a clip from “West Side Story”. This clip is of the song “America”. In this song there is a lot of discussion about, being Puerto Rican in America, and about American culture. The link is provided below and on my website: </li></ul><ul><li>http:// =Qy6wo2wpT2k&feature= PlayList&p =A0CFEEDE8E530E92&index=2 </li></ul><ul><li>Step 2: The students will be asked to reflect on the viewing their notebooks. Write this on the board: What did you think of the clip? </li></ul><ul><li>What were they singing and talking about? </li></ul><ul><li>Where do you think you fit in in your community? Are you a part of a particular </li></ul><ul><li>like the Puerto Ricans in the clip? </li></ul><ul><li>Step 3: Ask the students if they would like to share their responses. If they answer allow them to discuss a little, by raising their hand and taking turns. If they don’t want to share then move on to the next step. </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>Step 4: Play the next clip about Gang Warfare. This clip is the opening scene of West Side Story. The link is as follows and this clip is also on my website: </li></ul><ul><li>http:// =m8R9GiLImSw&feature= PlayList&p =A0CFEEDE8E530E92&index=3 </li></ul><ul><li>Step 5: After the clip, have a live discussion with the students, by allowing them to take turns commenting on gang warfare and how it was represented in the clip. </li></ul><ul><li>Step 6: Give the students a short at home assignment: </li></ul><ul><li>- Ask the students to write a small reflection, no more than a page long, on </li></ul><ul><li>“ West Side Story”. I want them to make a connection between the musical </li></ul><ul><li>and their lesson about Hip Hop Culture. What are the similarities and </li></ul><ul><li>differences between the people in “West Side Story” and the people who </li></ul><ul><li>created Hip Hop in the South Bronx. The assignment will be collected or </li></ul><ul><li>at the beginning of the next class. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Lesson 4: Explanation of Creative Project <ul><li>Introduction: The students should now have an understanding of how music is connected to culture and of the impact it can have on society. This next project will allow students to be behind the scenes of the music industry. They will create their own music video. </li></ul><ul><li>Objectives: With this project the students should be able to gain perspective on the music industry, to a certain extent. They will have the chance to work behind the scenes and make decisions based on the knowledge they’ve acquired from the unit. </li></ul><ul><li>This lesson encompasses a project, that will take the students 4 classes to complete. </li></ul><ul><li>Materials: - a computer lab. </li></ul><ul><li>- as many video cameras as the school can offer (not all the students will need </li></ul><ul><li>to use them.) </li></ul><ul><li>- Windows Movie maker (this school only has Microsoft/PC) </li></ul><ul><li>- If the school has regular cameras, that would be a nice addition. </li></ul><ul><li>- A CD of music. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Activity <ul><li>Step 1: Give the students the attached hand out (attached on Website). </li></ul><ul><li>Step 2 : Explain what the handout is asking of them and accept any questions the students have to offer. </li></ul><ul><li>Step 3: Open Windows Movie Maker on the main computer in the front of the computer lab. The image of your computer should be reflected on your projector screen. Open Windows Movie maker and put in the provided CD of music. Use one of the songs to demonstrate how a song is placed in the Windows Movie Maker program. Import images and demonstrate the features of the program. </li></ul><ul><li>Step 4: Ask the students to begin searching for their song and to write it down in a word file. The school has a downloading program so the students can freely download their song. </li></ul><ul><li>Step 5: Have the students begin working on their project and let them know that they need to at least have their song by the next class. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Lesson 5: Oral Presentations <ul><li>Introduction: This lesson is the final step in this unit. The students will be able to show their work in the class. </li></ul><ul><li>Objectives: The purpose of this activity is to sum up the unit on popular music education. The students will be able to reflect on what they have learned, and gain some perspective on how media is constructed. They will also be able to understand the power of the arts and the importance of making art work meaningful and valuable. </li></ul><ul><li>This activity will take 2 classes. </li></ul><ul><li>Materials: - the Computer lab </li></ul><ul><li>- the projector screen </li></ul><ul><li>- copies of the evaluation grids </li></ul>
  15. 15. Activity: Step 1 : Ask the students if they would like to volunteer to go first. If they do not respond, choose at random. Step 2: Allow the students to ask each other questions, but only 2 or 3. There is not much time. Step 3: At the end of the second day have a general forum discussion about the entire unit. What did the students learn that they did not already consider. Did this learning experience change the way they see or listen to commercialized music (or music in general)?