How War And Conflict Fuel New Art Forms: A Classroom Presentation

How War And Conflict Fuel New Art Forms

Photo: Hans Bernhard (Schnobby) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]

How War And Conflict Fuel New Art Forms is a classroom lesson designed for seventh grade that adheres to New York State Social Studies Education Standards. The lesson was designed as an end of the year lesson to utilize to prepare seventh grade students for the eighth grade year. The lesson begins with slavery in the pre and post Civil War years and ends in the 1970s. How War And Conflict Fuel New Art Forms lesson is formulated in a manner that focus on basic concepts in developing an argument utilizing critical thinking skills. The lesson is designed to help students formulate an argument with a presentation of multimedia all contained within the google slide presentation.

There are questions scattered throughout the slide presentation that students can answer individually or in group work. The attached multimedia within the google slide presentation offers the teacher flexibility in timing the lesson. The lesson can be completed in one period or stretched out to incorporate two 40 minute classroom periods.

The argument presented in the lesson is that most major conflicts create a need for an escape  from the tragedy and pain inflicted on those who have experienced the conflict. The segment begins with a quick look at slavery during the Civil War period. The lesson argues that blues music is a product of the pain endured by the slaves.

A discussion on how blues music was passed down through generations cultimates with an introduction to the blues musician Robert Johnson. There are pictures and samples of Robert Johnson’s music within the slide presentation. Students are also asked to interpret the lyrics to the song “Come On Into My Kitchen.” 

The lesson continues to look at how the end of World War I influenced the development of jazz and swing music. It continues to argue that World War II fueled the birth of rock and roll. There are samples of music played throughout the presentation from artists such as Duke Ellington, Chuck Berry and Buddy Holly.

The impact of the Vietnam War on protest music and psychedelic rock and roll Is also presented in the lesson. Frustrations that people had with Vietnam and Watergate further fueled the need for escape which resulted in the rise of disco music and dancing.

The lesson closes asking the students question “Are there any current artists that you think have written music in response to recent conflict or tragedy?”

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