Grade Levels: 9-12

In this lesson plan, which is adaptable for grades 9 through 12, students use BrainPOP resources explore the social impact folk music had on the 1960s. Students will discuss the main ideas and people of 1960s folk music, and create an original song about an issue of our times.

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

Students will:

  1. Understand the social impact folk music had on the 1960s.
  2. Discuss the main ideas and people of 1960s folk music.
  3. Create an original song about an issue of our times.



genre, activism, peril, migrant, rural


In a social studies class room, students should have background information on the 1960’s counterculture. This lesson will be an extension of the lesson on the 60’s counterculture and will teach students the impact music had on the times. Preview the movie in advance and make class sets of the Graphic Organizer.

Lesson Procedure:

  1. Review the key aspects of the counterculture of the 1960s. Direct the conversation to today’s topic of music.
  2. Have students hypothesize about the role music played in the 1960s. What influenced the opinions of the hippies? What role did music play in the 1960s? What role did the musicians play?
  3. Watch the BrainPOP video 60s Folk.
  4. Have students take notes on Who? What? When? Where? Why? using the Graphic Organizer.
  5. Have students take the short quiz after the video. Go over the responses.
  6. Discuss with the class the 5W’s from the graphic organizer. Answer any questions. Clarify when needed.
  7. Exit Slip: Write down three new pieces of information you learned today. Write down 2 questions you have about 1960’s folk music. Write down 1 thing you want to study more in-depth over 1960’s folk music.
  8. Have students write for the first 5 minutes of class about their favorite musician. Why is that person their favorite? What genre of music does the person create?

Extension Activities:

Many folk singers of the 1960s sang about the Vietnam War and the Changin’ Times. Have students write a song about the current times. Students should get into small groups of 3. Students should think of a contemporary issue that may be (doesn’t have to be) controversial in today’s society. Have students make a list of reasons why this issue is controversial today. What is happening? Are people getting involved? If so who / what are they doing? Using the list they created, students will write lyrics to a song about this issue raising awareness of the issue. Have students copy the lyrics for the class, and perform for their classmates the next day in class. Print Friendly Version