Welcome to Tapping the Roots of American Music, a Teacher's Guide for using the American Roots Music documentary series in the classroom. The resources offered here are designed to help you use the PBS American Roots Music video series and companion Web site in middle school and high school social studies and history classes. American Roots Music may be taped off-air and used for up to a year following broadcast, or you may choose to purchase it through Shop PBS for Teachers.
The lessons address national curriculum standards as established by the Mid-Continent Research for Education and Learning at http://www.mcrel.org/standards-benchmarks/ and by the Consortium of National Arts Education Associations at http://artsedge.kennedy-center.org/professional_resources/standards/nat_standards_main.html
Teachers will also want to review the other sections of this website. The Episode Summaries give you an overview of each of the four one-hour episodes. The Oral Histories section contains full-length interview transcripts with many of American roots music's pioneers. Eternal Songs offers in-depth descriptions of a range of key songs that reflect the American experience. The Songs & The Artists section lists all the songs heard in the series, and gives biographical information on the musicians who have played essential roles in the development of American roots music. Reading the brief essays in the Historical Background section of the Teacher's Guide will help teachers prepare to teach any of the four lessons.
The Teacher's Guide contains the following resources:
What is American roots music?
What can roots music teach us about cultural identity in the U.S.?
How is roots music related to historical events?
How is American roots music similar to American literature?
Lesson One: Finding the Story in the Song
Lesson Two: Desegregating the Airwaves: Blues on the Radio
Lesson Three: Gospel Music Meets a Wide Audience
Lesson Four: The Strength of Native American Music
Bibliography of Sources to Learn More About American Roots Music