I am using an activism theme in my classroom next semester. Each student will be required to select a cause, then complete a series of writing projects designed to promote that cause.
Of course, in the midst of becoming more effective writers, my kids also have to prepare for their End-of-Instruction test — which will require them to identify some literary devices — so we can’t neglect that.
The kids’ favorite way to learn literary terms is to listen to a song and then identify all the figurative language and sound devices used in the lyrics, so to tie our literature and composition lessons together (and to reinforce the idea that words are powerful tools), I would like to confine next semester’s playlist to music with a social conscience.
As I’m sure you can imagine, my iPod contains a pretty extensive collection of left-leaning anthems — everything from Peter, Paul and Mary’s version of “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?” to Steve Earle’s “Amerika v. 6.0” and Eminem’s “Mosh” — but my goal for the semester is to help my kids become effective activists for their own beliefs, not indoctrinate them with mine, so I really need some conservative stuff to balance things out.
I’ve got Hag’s “Fightin’ Side of Me,” Charlie Daniels’ “In America,” and Darryl Worley’s “Have You Forgotten?” on the list, but I’d like to give the kids something a little more substantial than a handful of Nashville cliches about God and country. (I’d also like to find stuff that doesn’t suck. I can listen to a crappy song once, maybe twice, but I am not willing to hear Toby Keith bleat about putting a boot up somebody’s arse six times in a single day, y’know?)
Thanks in advance for your ideas … and feel free to post any liberal-leaning suggestions you might have, too. Whatever doesn’t make it into a lesson plan will probably end up on a Folk Thursday playlist somewhere along the way. 🙂