The Blues and Beyond tells the story of African Americans from slavery to present day through music, narration, video and still images. Highlighting both historical and musical legacies, this engaging and entertaining program will leave students profoundly affected and with a new appreciation of how far we’ve come as a country and how far we still have to go. The interdisciplinary and culturally responsive program provides rich opportunities for connecting to history, literacy, social studies, social emotional learning, and the evolution of African American music in the United States. The Blues and Beyond has been developed for three different instructional levels: grades 3-5, grades 6-8 (middle school) and grades 9-12 (high school).
As African Americans have struggled to overcome injustice and achieve equality, their story has been told many ways. How has music reflected that story and changed the course of American history?
Upon completion of the program, students will:
The program includes educational resources and suggested activities, both before and after viewing the video presentation, to provide context and enrich understanding. These resources and activities are specifically structured for each of the three levels. Examples include:
This mini-unit is designed to be taught over 12 class periods. Teachers may choose activities and foster discussions focused on their area of expertise: music, social studies, or ELA. Note: The content of the video for grades 3-5 has been modified to remove some images that may be disturbing for this age group.
Teacher Training Session: Zoom workshop on how to use the program in the classroom.
Class Periods 1-3
Class Periods 4-12
Within the Resource Guide is a complete 12-Part Lesson Plan Outline, which teachers may choose to follow; or they may create their own lesson plans using the many resources provided.
(A password is required to access the Resource Materials area of the web site. Please contact the Program Director, Eric Finland, to request a password: firstname.lastname@example.org.)
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