African popular music Teacher Resources

Find African Popular Music educational ideas and activities

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Kick-start Black History Month with a fantastic resource that blends a study of prominent African American leaders in history with information on different religions. Beginning with a brainstorm and then leading into a collaborative timeline activity, your class members will break into groups and read and research the biographical and historical information of such noteworthy figures as Malcolm X, Sojourner Truth, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., as well as the influence of their religious beliefs on their activism and their contributions to society. They will then arrange themselves into chronological order according to the accomplishments of the figures they researched and peer-teach their group's findings to their classmates.
Students explore ancient tradition and craft of mask making, examine role or function of masks in African culture, create instruments, and participate in class projects.
Students evaluate the messages in music. For this communication through music lesson, students listen to various musical selections and determine the message being conveyed in the song. Then, students create their own message as they pretend to be drummers in an African village.
Students examine pieces of art by African-American artists in the 20th Century. For each piece, they are shown slides of the artwork and others by the artist to identify the techniques used. In groups, they discuss and research the time period in which the art was produced to end the lesson plan.
Upper graders explore pop culture and pop music as a forum for female role models. They explore women who have currently contributed to our pop world and why they could be considered role models. They each interview a woman in their lives, asking questions about their female role model. Responses are then shared with the class.
Students explore popular music of West Africa. In this musicians lesson, students complete listening tasks that challenge them to analyze the music of Oumou Sangare, Angelique Kidjo, and Baaba Maal.
Students attempt to answer how African-American, Latino, and white students address race relations in the United States in the future.
Students examine the archaeological site of Lick Creek, Indiana. They discover the settlement of African-American settlers. They practice using new vocabulary as well.
This lesson focuses on how students can learn basic blues percussion patterns by considering the polyrhythms of African drumming and investigating how and why such drums were banned during slavery. Students will listen to several blues and non-blues recor
Trey from Phish and Dave from the Dave Mathews Band took a trip to Africa to explore music, culture, and history. Your class watches this episode from VH1's Music Studio to understand how African culture and music have influenced modern American artists. Background information on Senegal, the musicians, web links, and critical-thinking questions accent this well-thought-out lesson that blends pop culture, social studies, and music.
Students identify themes of selected nonfiction, fiction, poetry and art to Harlem Renaissance jazz and describe the impact of jazz on African-American literature of the Harlem Renaissance
Tenth graders research an African animal of their choice and relate the concepts of population, climate and biodiversity to their animal. They examine how population interacts in an ecosystem.
Students determine that thriving African cultures engaged in international trade and exploration before the emergence of European civilization. The study ancient Ghana, its geographic locale, the diversity therein to include its people, their lifestyles, languages, and customs.
Upper graders listen to the blues. They discuss blues scale, read a description of the blues, and work together to write an original piece. A lesson like this ties into American history and African-American musical contributions very well. It also promotes self-expression and creative problem solving. 
Students investigate the African American culture in the 1920's and the Harlem Renaissance. They read and analyze poems written by poets of the Harlem Renaissance, listen to jazz music and identify the characteristics of the music, and answer a discussion question.
Students create a three-dimensional mask. In this people of African descent lesson, students examine masks and observe the elements the artists used to create the mask. Students produce their own mask representing various facial expressions to display emotion.
See the changes, controversy, and innovations that define postwar American art. The onset of the modern art era in American history is well-defined in this slide-show. You'll see how Abstract Expressionism shifted into conceptual, pop, and performance art.
Students examine the history of blues music and discover how it relates to the music of today. As a class, they listen to the drum songs of Africa and compare it to the use of drums in pop music today. Using the internet, they research the history of the blues and its early artists. To end the lesson, they write in their journals to reflect on the music.
Students explore power and the symbols of power in West African music. They discuss the music of West Africa and compare it to African American music of today. In addition, they investigate musical instruments of Africa, identify the characteristics of drumming and mud cloth, and study the art of narrative story-telling. Activities such as reviewing videos, dancing basic rhythm, and exploring the Mjiani Dance are listed.
Students identify and connect themes of selected nonfiction, fiction, poetry, and art to Harlem Renaissance jazz. They compare and contrast historical and fictionalized versions of the jazz scenes of the Harlem Renaissance. They describe the impact of jazz on African-American literature of the Harlem Renaissance.

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