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.


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


  • Read aloud the description on the Motown topic page.
  • Play the Movie, pausing to check for understanding. 
  • Assign Related Reading. Have students read one of the following articles: “Famous Faces” or “Real Life”. Partner them with someone who read a different article to share what they learned with each other.

Step 3: APPLY and ASSESS

Assign the Motown Challenge and Quiz, prompting students to apply essential literacy skills while demonstrating what they learned about this topic.

Step 4: DEEPEN and EXTEND 

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.
  • Make-a-Map: Make a concept map identifying important moments and figures in Motown history.
  • Creative Coding: Code a flag representing the impact of Motown on the Civil Rights Movement.

More to Explore

Time Zone X: Motown: Place historical events in chronological order in this interactive timeline game.

Teacher Support Resources:

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments