Title: Remembering James Reese Europe: Leader in Battle and Music
James Reese Europe was an "accomplished orchestra conductor, bandleader, and composer of popular songs, marches and dance music during the early twentieth century...Europe was an effective champion of African-American musical performers and composers and helped to gain acceptance for them in the United States and abroad." Born in Mobile, Alabama, Europe accomplished much in his brief lifetime and deserves a place in every study of World War I.
Students will annotate a biography of James Reese Europe and analyze two photographs of the orchestra Reese led across France. Students will view a documentary film of Europe and his "Hellfighter" orchestra as they fought, performed, and received medals for their efforts during the war.
As a culminating activity on the second day, students will write a eulogy for Europe detailing his role as a leader in Jazz and as an African American officer.
This lesson was created in partnership with the Alabama Department of Archives and History.
Standard(s): [LIT2010] WRI (6-8) 4: Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
Title: Music: A Vehicle for Wartime Protest
Students will examine the significance of music as a medium for wartime protest. They will demonstrate their skills at interpreting primary source material to identify the artist's objections to war and investigate the historical context in which protest songs were written. Finally, students will choose their own wartime protest song to analyze and present to the class.
Standard(s): [SS2010] US11 (11) 13: Trace the course of the involvement of the United States in Vietnam from the 1950s to 1975, including the Battle of Dien Bien Phu, the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, the Tet Offensive, destabilization of Laos, secret bombings of Cambodia, and the fall of Saigon. [A.1.b., A.1.c., A.1.d., A.1.e., A.1.g., A.1.i., A.1.k.]
Title: A Brief History of Jazz!
This lesson will give a brief timeline and background on the musical genre of jazz music. The students will learn where jazz music found it's roots, and also learn some of the more influential performers of this genre of music.
Standard(s): [AED] MU (6-8) 13: Identify characteristic differences in music of various cultures.
Title: The Roaring Twenties
This activity involves comparing turn of the century music with the music from the Jazz Age. Students will listen to musical selections and analyze how the change in the music reflects the change in cultural attitudes. They will also work in groups to create their own radio shows.
Standard(s): [SS2010] US11 (11) 5: Evaluate the impact of social changes and the influence of key figures in the United States from World War I through the 1920s, including Prohibition, the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment, the Scopes Trial, limits on immigration, Ku Klux Klan activities, the Red Scare, the Harlem Renaissance, the Great Migration, the Jazz Age, Susan B. Anthony, Margaret Sanger, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, W. C. Handy, and Zelda Fitzgerald. (Alabama) [A.1.a., A.1.b., A.1.d., A.1.f., A.1.i., A.1.j., A.1.k.]