Lesson Plan

African American Music: Let’s Sing and Play Clapping Games

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This African American Music: Let’s Sing and Play Clapping Games lesson plan also includes:

Two lessons focus on making a beat. Using popular African American music of its time, scholars listen and analyze the rhythm then recreate it with hands drums, and cups. 

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Instructional Ideas
  • Work Songs are engrained in the history of slavery—add information to cover the subject more thoughtfully
  • Locate additional songs that have a strong beat for pupils to hear, and follow along to, with their musical instruments
  • Collaborate with the school's music teacher, or a parent who's expertise is in music, to add to the music-related information shared
Classroom Considerations
  • The lesson's focus is on music application, not so much the history
  • Requires hand drums and cups
  • Participants have ample opportunity for movement
  • The lesson plan is written in detail
  • In lesson two, relating Working Songs to a non-BIPOC's own experiences is problematic as it minimizes the true history of the music