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Definitional Lessons
Interpretive Lessons

Definitional Lessons: What are the Blues?

Select a definitional lesson using the navigation on the right side of this page.

Each lesson contains the following elements:
Overview  Thumbnail sketch of the lesson.

Learning Objectives   3-4 ideas or skills students will learn by completing the lesson.

Standards   National Curriculum Standards addressed by the lesson.

Resources Needed   List of resources including music (see The Blues Teacher's Guide CD), readings, instruments, and Web sites.

Film Tie-ins   Portions of The Blues films that connect to the lesson.

Note:  because some of the films include language and/or situations that may not be appropriate for every classroom, teachers are encouraged to preview the films prior to showing them to students.

Introductory Exercise   Exercise designed to hook students into the topic by relating it to their lives and interests; approximately one class period.

Focus Exercise   Exercise which builds upon the Introductory Exercise and enables students to explore the general topic, related issues, and ideas; approximately two class periods.

Research and Analysis   One research activity that enables students to take a closer look at aspects of the lesson topic.

Synthesis and Assessment   1-2 assessment tools which require students to demonstrate their learning.

Extension Opportunities   The online Blues Classroom includes additional lessons and activities that are not included in the printed Teacher's Guide.


Approaching the Blues
Blues as African American History
Poetry: Blues Style
The Beat of Blues
Locating the Blues
Blues Geography
The South, the North, and the Great Migration: Blues and Literature
Blues Masters: Muddy Waters and B.B. King
Making the Blues
Blues, Urbanization, and Technology
Oral Tradition and the Blues
Playing the Blues



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