Lesson Plans

32 Result(s)
Grade Range
9-12
Jazz Ambassadors: A Model for Cultural Diplomacy

When you think about diplomacy, you may first imagine ambassadors or even the Secretary of State. But the U.S. has a long history of using the arts and humanities to influence international opinion—a practice known as cultural diplomacy. This lesson plan unpacks the principles of cultural diplomacy through an exploration of  the Cold War “Jazz Ambassadors.” Students also investigate differing viewpoints of this program through historic newspapers and other primary source documents. Finally, students are asked to design their own program for cultural diplomacy.  

Grade Range
9-12
The Music of African American History

This lesson traces the long history of how African Americans have used music as a vehicle for communicating beliefs, aspirations, observations, joys, despair, resistance, and more across U.S. history.

Grade Range
6-12
“Remember” by Joy Harjo

This lesson plan is the ninth in the “Incredible Bridges: Poets Creating Community” series. It provides a video recording of the poet, Joy Harjo, reading the poem “Remember.” The companion lesson contains a sequence of activities for use with secondary students before, during, and after reading to help them enter and experience the poem.

Grade Range
6-12
“Translation for Mamá” by Richard Blanco

This lesson plan is the eighth in the “Incredible Bridges: Poets Creating Community” series. It provides a video recording of the poet, Richard Blanco, reading the poem “Translation for Mamá.” The companion lesson contains a sequence of activities for use with secondary students before, during, and after reading to help them enter and experience the poem.

Grade Range
9-12
Scottsboro Boys and To Kill a Mockingbird: Two Trials for the Classroom

This lesson is designed to apply Common Core State Standards and facilitate a comparison of informational texts and primary source material from the Scottsboro Boys trials of the 1931 and 1933, and the fictional trial in Harper Lee’s novel, To Kill A Mockingbird (1960).

Grade Range
9-12
Lesson 1: Magical Elements in Magical Realism

In this triumph of magical realism, "One Hundred Years of Solitude," chronicles a century of the remarkable Buendía family’s history in the fictional Colombian town of Macondo. The three lessons presented here explore the fantastic elements of this imaginary world, the real history that lies behind them, and García Márquez’s own philosophical musings on writing about Latin America.

Grade Range
6-8
Vengeful Verbs in Shakespeare’s Hamlet

Expose middle school students to a first taste of Shakespeare from the angle of the ghost story and launch into the subject of verbs. In this lesson, they learn how Shakespeare uses verbs to move the action of the play. Students then distinguish generic verbs from vivid verbs by working with selected lines in Hamlet’s Ghost scene. Finally they test their knowledge of verbs through a crossword interactive puzzle.

Grade Range
9-12
The Freedom Riders and the Popular Music of the Civil Rights Movement

The American civil rights movement incorporated a variety of cultural elements in their pursuit of political and legal equality under law. This lesson will highlight the role of music as a major influence through the use of audio recordings, photographs, and primary documents. Students will participate in their own oral history, examine lyrics, and work with case studies such as the Freedom Rides to gain an appreciation of how music influenced the early 1960s.

Grade Range
K-5
Fables and Trickster Tales Around the World

The following lesson introduces children to folk tales through a literary approach that emphasizes genre categories and definitions. In this unit, students will become familiar with fables and trickster tales from different cultural traditions and will see how stories change when transferred orally between generations and cultures.

Grade Range
9-12
Learning the Blues

Take a virtual field trip to Memphis, Tennessee, and explore the history of the blues.