Protest songs : how humans use language and literature to connect, express, and explore universal human issues in a grade nine English classroom

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Paterson, Michelle
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Education
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Lethbridge, Alta : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Education
This project is an attempt to create innovative and engaging curriculum resources, including a comprehensive unit plan, for use in grade nine English Language Arts that explore the issues of racism and intolerance. The aim is to foster tolerance and empathy in today’s culturally diverse classrooms, through the examination of a cross-section of protest songs, including those by current artists. These resources include background information and social context for each song, detailed notes for implementation and methods of evaluation and assessment. This project and the development of its curriculum resources has been influenced by several educational scholars and theorists who have informed my thinking around literacy and pedagogy. These include Michael Cole and Paolo Freire and their exploration of Critical Literacy, Louise Rosenblatt’s Theory of Transactional Analysis, the Critical Pedagogies of Henry Giroux, Michael Smith and Jeffrey Wilhelm, as well as Jeffrey Duncan-Andrade and Ernest Morrell, and the exploration of Multiliteracies by the New London Group. The lesson plans have also incorporated Donald Leu’s New Literacies through the use of the Internet as a research too, as well as the Visual Literacies of Janice Rahn, Jason Ohler and Joe Lambert. This project provides teachers with an engaging, student-oriented, research-based, and curriculum-focused option for exploring lyrical poetry, and the ways in which (extra)ordinary people can create lasting social change through their words and music.
unit plan , racism , intolerance , empathy , tolerance , social change , lyrical poetry , social movements , literacy education