I want to get my kids fired up about poetry and think that introducing my poetry unit with song lyrics would help. Can anyone help with ideas, good songs to use, websites? I use my iPod daily in class anyways, so it should be a smooth tool.
lyrics for several years now, but iPods--wow. You're way more tech than me. I'm jealous.
I Am A Rock by Simon and Garfunkle
I Heard It Through the Grapevine by Marvin Gaye (have fun telling the kids THAT last name)
Strange Fruit sung by Billie Holiday (How controviersial do you want to get?)
For metaphor, oxymoron and personification, try Sounds of Silence, by Simon and Garfunkle
Simile is in lots of lyrics; I use India.Arie's stuff, because I like to get some feminism in there, particularly a feminist of color. I also use Lauryn Hill to show that women can rap, too. (You May Win Some but You Just Lost One).
You can use Ghetto Gospel by Tupac to show allusion. There is one line in there that's questionable. He talks about "smokin' a blunt with my homies." My kids don't know what a blunt is; I don't know how savvy yours are.
Use poetry (song lyrics) to show social unrest and protest:
Feel Like I'm Fixin to Die Rag by Country Joe and the Fish is on the Woodstock album and protests, with great sarcasm, the Vietnam War.
I'm going to get the CD by a new band called The Flobots. They have one that I'm not even sure of the title, but I'll know it when I see it. It's a great protest song about intolerance, poverty, and the Bush administration (Put your hands up and I'll copy you....)
They love Linkin Park. I use "Breaking the Habit" as an example of metaphor, but it's not the best example I have.
I haven't used country music with them because they groan if it's even mentioned, but country music is full of beautiful poetry. I'm wondering if Taylor Swift might fly with them.
Good luck. Teaching poetry with song lyrics is fun and the kids really like it. Give them copies of the lyrics to read while they listen and maybe have them highlight and label the various literary devices. BTW, if you have any song ideas, I'd love to hear them.
We did a poetry unit last year and the students used song lyrics in their projects. Each student made a powerpoint where they presented poetry they had written as well as songs and poetry they liked. They could only use song lyrics that were teacher approved. (I had them print a copy for me to approve first before it could be added to their powerpoint.) Students linked the actual songs into the powerpoints by using Godtube. We found this to be a great site that had lots of the songs that were school appropriate.
We all know the words but todays kids may not have ever heard the song. The idea being, print out the lyrics, and have the kids read it then see if they can tell you some ways this poem could be used. After that discussion has played out let them listen to the song.
The flobots song is calle Hands Up and was written as a protest to the way Hurricane Katrina was handled.
They have another song called "handlebars" that is very moving, I think it is mainly about how to use your knowledge to acheive dreams, but also about making positive choices.
I love "Drops of Jupiter" by Train. I have used it for years to intro my poetry unit. I am looking for a more modern song with terrific literary device, as the song has grown a bit old (like 8 years). Any ideas?
I have used "The Show" by Lenka and "Set Fire to the Rain" by Adele with success in the classroom. Both have metaphors, imagery, similes, hyperbole, idioms, personification, colloquialism, onomatopoeia, paradoxes, and symbolism. Good luck.
The Script - Hall of fame!! Get kids to create their own chorus to a theme of own choice or one given to them by the teacher. Or, they can add a verse to the song and see what they come up with. Differentiate by using different songs, and providing an idea bank for them to work from.