April 2nd, 2003
Under Joni Mitchell's Influence
Lesson Overview

Fans have long admired Joni Mitchell’s wildly innovative and deeply personal music. Her music has evolved from folk into pop, jazz, and avant-garde. For decades, the fiercely independent songwriter and performer resisted the whims of mainstream audiences and the male-dominated recording industry, emerging as one of the most influential and inspirational singer-songwriters of our time. In this lesson plan, students will view the AMERICAN MASTERS entitled Joni Mitchell: Woman of Heart and Mind, examine the concept of influence, and explore how Joni Mitchell and her work have influenced others. Students will have a chance to study, interpret, and enjoy her lyrics by using the Choral Reading method.

Grade Level:
High School (9th to 12th grade)

Time Allotment:
3 class sessions

Subject Matter:
English, Poetry, Music

Learning Objectives:

Students will be able to:

  • Research information on the Internet.
  • Interpret poetry through the lyrics of the songwriter.
  • Write their own poems.
  • Work collaboratively.
  • Work on comprehension and understanding of text through repeated readings and interpretation.


    National Standards:

    MCREL LANGUAGE ARTS, Level 4, Standard 6
    Uses reading skills and strategies to understand a variety of literary passages and texts (e.g., fairy tales, folktales, fiction, nonfiction, myths, poems, fables, fantasies, historical fiction, biographies, autobiographies, chapter books)

    MCREL LANGUAGE ARTS, Level 4, Standard 5

    Uses the general skills and strategies of the reading process

    MCREL LANGUAGE ARTS, Level 4, Standard 8
    Uses listening and speaking strategies for different purposes

    MCREL LANGUAGE ARTS, Level 4, Standard 9
    Uses viewing skills and strategies to understand and interpret visual media

    MCREL TECHNOLOGY, Level 4, Standard 2
    Knows the characteristics and uses of computer software programs.


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