CBC Digital Archives

Lesson Plan: For Teachers: Singin' the Blues

Type:
Assignment
Subjects:
Social Studies
Duration:
2 to 3 lessons
Purpose:
To communicate emotion through song
Summary:
Students write the music and lyrics for a blues song based on emotions instilled by experiencing drought.

Lesson Plan

Before Exploring

Acquire and play for students a few selections of blues songs. Ask them to identify some of the characteristics of the blues. List their responses for reference.

Outline the Opportunity

Direct students to the clips titled "The dirty '30s", "Dustbowl horrors", "It takes something out of you", "Thunder Bay suffers" and "Urban impact" on Devastating Dry Spells: Drought on the Prairies on the CBC Digital Archives website, where they can get a sense of the emotions that a drought can instill. Then have students work individually or in pairs to write and compose a blues song based on the ideas and feelings expressed in the clips.

Revisit and Reflect

Students can either tape their song and play it for the class, or perform it live. Have the class use the lists of blues songs characteristics to determine the "best" blues songs in the class.

Extension

Compile students' songs onto a CD or DVD for distribution within the class. Students can create cover art for their compilation.

Related Content

Devastating Dry Spells: Drought on the Prairi...

Blowing dust, swarms of grasshoppers, and not enough hay to feed the starving livestock. For P...

Urban impact of drought

Farmers aren't the only Saskatchewan residents suffering from drought.

Cloud seeding back in style?

In 2002, Prairie farmers are revisiting the idea of weather modification.

Prairie drought = grasshopper invasion!

A look at one of the difficult by-products of Prairie drought.

West helps East with cod fishery woes

Remembering the help they got during the 1930s drought, the West is now helping out with Easte...

Eastern farmers help drought-stricken West

As part of the Hay West campaign, Eastern farmers are sending hay to the drought-stricken West...