I love using music in my classroom, and that can be done in a variety of ways. I most enjoy using music when I teach poetry. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame website has great ideas for incorporating music into one's curriculum. When I was teaching high school, I taught a novel about the Vietnam War to a sophomore English class. After reading the book and studying the political/historical background of that time period, I had the students work on power points in groups of three and four. Their assignment was to find political protest songs to use in their power point presentations. When we were reading something by Maya Angelou in our GED class last year, I told them how even today, young people/performers are influenced by the works of authors, even those no longer with us. I brought in Alicia Keyes song called Caged Bird. That provided me the opportunity to share with them poetry by Langston Hughes, poetry in which he writes about a "caged bird" and, of course, talk about Angelou's autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.
Submitted by: Camille Johnson, Instructor/Coordinator, Adult Education, South Suburban College