For my 20% project, I would like to explore integrating music into my classroom. I have already begun incorporating music into my To Kill A Mockingbird unit with some success. Last week, I provided students with the lyrics to "Strange Fruit," by Billie Holiday. The song is about prejudice against African Americans in the South and, more specifically, the lynchings that were common at the time it was recorded in the 1930s. I played the song as students made annotations and/or drawings in the margins of the lyrics I had provided them with. They then answered a series of questions about their interpretations of the meaning of the song and how it connected to To Kill A Mockingbird. It was a great way to connect some of the themes we were discussing.
I will also be integrating music into the curriculum when we move on to the Romeo & Juliet unit. Students will be asked to create a soundtrack for various scenes and write liner notes describing how the song they chose for each scene is appropriate and relates to the themes.
These are just a couple of examples of how I can incorporate music in the classroom more. I am also researching more interesting ways to use music to deepen their understanding of certain concepts as well as simply making the classroom environment more enjoyable and engaging.