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Understanding By Design – Backwards Design Process—Protest Songs

(Developed by Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe, 2002)

Stage 1 – Desired Results

Content Standard(s):
 [Comes from professional standards in your field]

Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in
groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9-10 topics, texts, and issues,
building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.

Make strategic use of digital media (e.g., textual, graphical, audio, visual, and interactive
elements) in presentations to enhance understanding of findings, reasoning, and
evidence and to add interest.

Understanding (s)/goals Essential Question(s):

Students will understand that:  [What leading questions can you
 [this is a goal, not an objective. ask of students to get them to
List the big ideas or concepts that understand the Big Ideas?]
you want them to come away with,  [Address the heart of the discipline,
not facts that they must know] are framed to provoke and sustain
students interest; unit questions
Students should be able to research and usually have no one obvious “right”
identify protest songs. answer

 Is the world fair?

 Can you overcome biases?
 What is racism and why does it still
exist today?

Student objectives (outcomes):

Students will be able to:
 [These are observable, measurable outcomes that students should be able to
demonstrate and that you can assess. Your assessment evidence in Stage 2 must
show how you will assess these.]
 [Your learning activities in Stage 3 must be designed and directly linked to
having students be able to achieve the understandings, answer the essential
questions, and demonstrate the desired outcomes

Students will listen to a variety of protest songs and discuss the meaning in relation to
the novel.

Stage 2 – Assessment Evidence

Performance Task(s): Other Evidence:
 [Authentic, performance based  [includes pre-assessment,
tasks that have students apply formative assessment, and
what they have learned and summative assessment evidence]
demonstrate their understanding.]  [Can be individual or group based]
 [designed at least at the application  [Can include informal methods
level or higher on Bloom’s (such as thumbs up, thumbs down,
Taxonomy. ] and formal assessments, such as
 [Rubrics can be used to guide quiz, answers to questions on a
students in self-assessment of their worksheet, written reflection,
performance] essay]

***(power point presentation/lesson (5 min.) Students will write a reflection of

borrowed from Katy Sayers at PHS)*** the protest songs at the end of the class
 Students will be introduced to
protest songs and be given a brief Students must arrive to class tomorrow
background on the song/artist with ONE protest song to share (required
 Some notes on how the song is elements: artist, time period, any
related to the novel are provided background information, summary)
 Song will be played, lyrics provided
on screen
 The following is asked for each

Song #1: Billie Holiday “Strange Fruit”

 What lines/lyrics stuck out to you?

 What is the “strange fruit”?
 What is the effect of comparing
black men to a crop/fruit?
 What is Holiday’s statement about
humanity? About the Black
experience? (Hint: this is her

Song #2: Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the

 What lyrics stood out to you more
than others?
 What answers are “blowin’ in the
 What is Dylan trying to explain
about human nature? (Hint: this is
his theme)

Song #3: Sam Cooke “A Change is Gonna

 What lyrics stood out?
 What is Sam Cooke’s theme (his
statement about humanity)?
 How does this song’s theme
contradict or add too Bob Dylan’s

Song #4: “Blackbird” The Beatles

 What is the symbolism seen in the
 What key words or phrases stuck
out to you?
 Why do you suppose they chose
the subject to be a “blackbird”?
Why not something less obvious?

Song #5: Old Crow Medicine Show “Mean

Enough World” Does this song match the
messages or sentiments in the previous,
older songs?

Stage 3 – Learning Plan

Learning Activities:
[This is the core of your lesson plan and includes a listing describing briefly (usually in
bullet or numbered form so easy to follow) what:
 the students will do during the class to prepare them for the outcomes you
expect of them.]
 the teacher will do to guide the learning]

(50 min.)

 Students will be introduced to protest songs and be given a brief background on

the song/artist
 Some notes on how the song is related to the novel are provided
 Song will be played, lyrics provided on screen
 Students will be asked questions regarding each song (listed above and in

(5 min.)

 Students will write a reflection of the protest songs at the end of the class period.