Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8, 9-12

*Click to open and customize your own copy of the Hip-Hop and Rap Lesson Plan

This lesson accompanies the BrainPOP topic Hip-Hop and Rap, and supports the standard of describing diverse music styles from cultures around the world. Students demonstrate understanding through a variety of projects.


Create a KWL  chart on the board or display this Moby-themed KWL chart. Ask: 

  • What do you know about hip-hop and rap? 
  • Which hip-hop and/or rap musicians do you know? 
  • What do you want to know about hip-hop and rap?

As students respond, add their comments to the proper section in the chart, leaving the Learn section blank for now.


  • Read aloud the description on the Hip-Hop and Rap topic page.
  • Play the Movie, pausing to check for understanding. (Essential Literacy 
  • Have students read one of the following Related Reading articles: “Way Back When, “Arts and Entertainment,” “Famous Faces,” or “Law and Customs”. Partner them with someone who read a different article to share what they learned with each other.

Step 3: APPLY
Students express their understanding through one or more of the following projects, which also address essential literacy skills. They can work individually or collaborate. 

  • Make-a-Movie: Produce a documentary exploring the origins of hip-hop and rap. (Essential  Literacy Skill: Summarize key events)
  • Make-a-Map: Make a concept map outlining the key features of rap music. (Essential Literacy Skill: Acquire and use domain specific words and phrases)
  • Creative Coding: Code a flag that represents hip-hop and rap culture. (Essential Literacy Skill: Determine central ideas)


Reflect: Students reflect on what they’ve learned about hip-hop and rap. Return to your KWL chart to add students’ responses about  what they learned. Prompt them by asking questions such as: 

  • Why do you think rap has become such a popular art form?
  • How has rap music changed since it was first created?
  • What makes rap a unique genre of music?

Assess: Wrap up the lesson with the Hip-Hop and Rap Challenge.

Additional Support Resources:


Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments