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

*Click to open and customize your own copy of the Motown Lesson Plan

This lesson accompanies the BrainPOP topic Motown, and supports the standard of recognizing the impact of musical genres and artists on United States’ culture. Students demonstrate understanding through a variety of projects.

Step 1: ACTIVATE PRIOR KNOWLEDGE

Ask students: How does music impact your life? How does it impact society?  

Step 2: BUILD BACKGROUND

  • Read aloud the description on the Motown topic page.
  • Play the Movie, pausing to check for understanding. 
  • Have students read one of the four Related Reading articles. Partner them with someone who read a different article to share what they learned with each other.

Step 3: ENGAGE
Students express what they learned about Motown while practicing essential literacy skills with one or more of the following activities. Differentiate by assigning ones that meet individual student needs.

  • Make-a-Movie: Create a documentary analyzing Motown’s relationships with cultural, social, and political movements. (Essential Literacy Skill: Determine central ideas)
  • Make-a-Map: Make a concept map identifying important moments and figures in Motown history. (Essential Literacy Skill: Summarize key details)
  • Creative Coding: Code a flag representing the impact of Motown on the Civil Rights Movement. (Essential Literacy Skill: Make logical inferences from explicit details)

Step 4: APPLY & ASSESS 

Apply: Students take the Motown Challenge, applying essential literacy skills while demonstrating what they learned about this topic.

Assess: Wrap up the lesson with the Motown Quiz.

Additional Support Resources:

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