ALEX Lesson Plan

     

Remembering James Reese Europe: Leader in Battle and Music

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Lesa Roberts
Organization:Whitesburg Christian Academy
The event this resource created for:Alabama Department of Archives and History
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 35688

Title:

Remembering James Reese Europe: Leader in Battle and Music

Overview/Annotation:

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.

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
Literacy Standards (6-12)
LIT2010 (2010)
Grade: 6-8
Writing Standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects
4 ) Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

Insight Unpacked Content
Strand: Writing (WHST)
CCR Anchor:
Production and Distribution of Writing
Evidence Of Student Attainment:
Students:
  • are flexible in the use of development, organization, and style to produce clear and coherent writing appropriate to task, audience, and purpose
  • apply this skill to a variety of style of writing (argument, informative / explanatory, and narrative)
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • clear and coherent writing
  • development
  • organization
  • style
  • appropriate to task, purpose, and audience
  • grade-specific expectations
Knowledge:
Students know:
  • qualities of clear and coherent writing
  • purposes for a variety if types of writing
  • potential audiences for a variety of types of writing
  • techniques for developing ideas
  • techniques for organizing writing
  • techniques for creating consistent, appropriate style
Skills:
Students are able to:
  • produce clear and coherent writing
  • analyze a writing task to determine what is required
  • adapt writing to fulfill a specific purpose
  • adapt writing to meet the needs of an audience
  • develop ideas in a way appropriate to task and purpose
  • apply these skills to a variety of types of writing
Understanding:
Students understand that the development, organization, and style of clear and coherent writing pieces are determined by task, purpose, and audience.
Social Studies
SS2010 (2010)
Grade: 6
United States Studies: The Industrial Revolution to the Present
3 ) Identify causes and consequences of World War I and reasons for the United States' entry into the war.

Examples: sinking of the Lusitania, Zimmerman Note, alliances, militarism, imperialism, nationalism

•  Describing military and civilian roles in the United States during World War I
•  Explaining roles of important persons associated with World War I, including Woodrow Wilson and Archduke Franz Ferdinand
•  Analyzing technological advances of the World War I era for their impact on modern warfare
Examples: machine gun, tank, submarine, airplane, poisonous gas, gas mask

•  Locating on a map major countries involved in World War I and boundary changes after the war
•  Explaining the intensification of isolationism in the United States after World War I
Example: reaction of the Congress of the United States to the Treaty of Versailles, League of Nations, and Red Scare

•  Recognizing the strategic placement of military bases in Alabama (Alabama)
Insight Unpacked Content
Strand: Economics, Geography, History, Civics and Government
Course Title: United States Studies: The Industrial Revolution to the Present
Evidence Of Student Attainment:
Students:
  • Identify how the sinking of the Lusitania, the Zimmerman Note, alliances, imperialism, militarism and nationalism led to U.S. entry into WWI.
  • Describe the various roles of military and civilians in WWI.
  • Explain Woodrow Wilson and Archduke Franz Ferdinand and their association to WWI.
  • Analyze machine guns, tanks, submarines, airplanes, poison gas, and gas masks and their contributions to advancing modern warfare during WWI.
  • Use map skills to locate key countries involved in WWI and boundary changes post WWI.
  • Explain reactions to the Treaty of Versailles, League of Nations and the Red Scare pertaining to the intensification of isolationism in the United States after WWI.
  • Recognize military bases of Alabama and their strategic placement.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • WWI
  • Lusitania
  • Zimmerman Note
  • alliances
  • militarism
  • imperialism
  • nationalism
  • modern warfare
  • isolationism
  • Treaty of Versailles
  • League of Nations
  • Red Scare
Knowledge:
Students know:
  • The causes and consequences of U.S. involvement in WWI (sinking of the Lusitania, the Zimmerman Note, Alliance System, Militarism, Imperialism, and Nationalism).
  • The roles of military and civilians played in WWI.
  • Important people involved in WWI (Woodrow Wilson, Archduke Franz Ferdinand).
  • The impact of technological advances of WWI on modern warfare (machine guns, tanks, submarines, airplanes, poison gas, and gas masks).
  • How to locate countries involved in WWI on a map and boundary changes that occurred after WWI.
  • The factors contributing to isolationism in the United States after WWI (Treaty of Versailles debate, Red Scare, League of Nations).
  • Strategic locations of military bases in Alabama.
Skills:
Students are able to:
  • Locate places on a map.
  • Read and interpret primary source documents.
  • Cite evidence to support historical events.
Understanding:
Students understand that:
  • There were many reasons for United States entry and involvement in World War I and there were causes and consequences of this involvement.
Alabama Archives Resources:
Click below to access all Alabama Archives resources aligned to this standard.

Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
SS.AAS.6.3- Identify strategic placement of military bases in Alabama, such as Redstone Arsenal, Fort Rucker, Fort McClellan, and Craig Air Force Base.


Local/National Standards:

National History Standards: Era 7

Standard 2C: Explain U.S. military and economic mobilization for war and evaluate the role of labor, including women and African Americans.

Primary Learning Objective(s):

Students will annotate a secondary source to gain biographical information. SS2010 (6) 3

Students will write a eulogy for James Reese Europe and include the facts of his life and why he deserves to be remembered. LIT2010 (6-8) 4

 

 

Additional Learning Objective(s):

 
 Preparation Information 

Total Duration:

61 to 90 Minutes

Materials and Resources:

Primary Sources:

Photograph: Lt. James Reese Europe, famous jazz band leader, back with the 369th Regiment. https://catalog.archives.gov/id/533506#.WEAxzOiyb18.link (one for each pair of students) Print photograph with caption, if possible

Photograph: Genuine Jazz for the Yankee Wounded. http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2016651602/ (one for each pair of students) Print photograph with caption, if possible.

Secondary Sources:

James Reese Europe article from Encyclopedia of Alabama: http://www.encyclopediaofalabama.org/article/h-2470 (one for each student)

James Reese Europe and the Hellfighters YouTube film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G4pDuKAHoTI  (to be viewed as a class)

James Reese Europe "Memphis Blues" Pathe Recording 1919 Read About the Death of Jim Europe YouTube film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4xODDsTpCw&t=2s (to be viewed as a class)


James Reese Europe - Castle House Rag YouTube film:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZRQ5CU3l8tQ (to be viewed as a class)

Supplies:

highlighters

pencils

notebooks

chart paper

rubric for scoring writing assignment (see attachments) - one for each student

rubric for scoring acceleration activity (see attachments) - one for each student that competes the acceleration activity

Technology Resources Needed:

Document camera to display photographs and biography.

Equipment necessary to view YouTube documentary (TV/screen and computer with internet access)

Background/Preparation:

The students should be familiar with and able to discuss the civil rights challenges for African Americans during the segregation era of the early 1900's, including the lack of civil rights, job opportunities and equal pay, and segregation. The students should also be able to infer how those challenges affected the roles of African American soldiers.

The teacher should be familiar with the development of Jazz music at the turn of the 20th century. For background information:

Southernmusic.net at the following web address: http://www.southernmusic.net/1910.htm

Jazz In America at the following web address: http://www.jazzinamerica.org/JazzResources/Timeline/1910/1919

The teacher may find additional information about James Reese Europe from:

Encyclopedia of Alabama article:  http://www.encyclopediaofalabama.org/article/h-2470 

The teacher may use additional information about Europe and the Hellfighter Orchestra:  

Doughboy Center: A Special Contribution Courtesy of Glenn Watkins and the University of California Press: http://www.worldwar1.com/dbc/hhf.htm 

Remembering the Harlem Hellfighters of WWI:  https://voicesofny.org/2014/02/remembering-the-harlem-hellfighters-of-ww-i/ 

WWI's Harlem Hellfighters Who Cut Down Germans and Gave France Jazz: http://www.thedailybeast.com/the-harlem-hellfighters-who-cut-down-germans-and-gave-france-jazz 

  Procedures/Activities: 

Before: The teacher should begin the class by listening and viewing the Hellfighters' jazz music and film clips. 

James Reese Europe - Castle House Rag:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZRQ5CU3l8tQ 

James Reese Europe "Memphis Blues" Pathe Recording 1919 Read About the Death of Jim Europe: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4xODDsTpCw&t=2s

The students should listen to the music and view the films while writing a list of what they hear and see during the films. Allow the students several minutes to share with a partner before the class discusses the sounds and sights of the films. The teacher should record the observations on the board and discuss the instruments and sounds of the music, the African American soldiers, the scenery, etc.

The teacher should introduce James Reese Europe and tell the students that he embodied all that they have been discussing - American jazz, segregation, and African American roles in World War One.

During: Ask each student to find a partner. Distribute the two photographs of Europe and his orchestra to each partner group. Allow time for students to study the photos and captions. Working with a partner, have the pairs create T-charts with one side of the charts being what they SEE and the other side what they INFER. After several minutes, allow the students to share the list of things they observed; e.g. 15th New York infantry, all young African Americans, heavy wool uniforms, tall boots, lots of brass instruments, drummers, on a ship and in a courtyard in Paris, etc. Some inferences might include; e.g. the soldiers felt segregated; they must be hot in the uniforms; they were glad to play for the wounded soldiers; some may have been seasick on the ship; etc. The teacher should create a class T-chart on chart paper while the class discusses their ideas.

Distribute the Encyclopedia of Alabama biographical article and highlighters to each student. Remind students that they should highlight the main ideas (Who, When, Where, What, and Why) of the article. Tell the students that they will be using this information in a written assignment so they should closely read the article. They may choose to annotate around the sides of the article at any time during the reading or discussions. Give the students time to silently read and highlight the article.

Ask students to share their ideas and annotations with a partner before leading a class discussion. Allow students time to add to their annotations as they hear what other students thought was important and interesting. As the students are sharing what they highlighted, the teacher may display a copy of the article with the document camera and model highlighting and annotating the text. 

View and discuss the video:  James Reese Europe and the Hellfighters (8 minutes) and allow students to add any new information to their T-charts and/or biographies.

After: Discuss the tragic death of Europe and how his early demise may have affected his legacy. 

Discuss with the students the definition of a eulogy and how it is written as a narrative of a person's life. Eulogies give the factual details of a lifetime but often relate stories that should be remembered without dwelling on the bad events. The students should use the annotated articles to write a eulogy for James Reese Europe. The eulogy should include a review of Europe's life from the article, how he became a leader of the jazz movement, his role as an African American Lieutenant in the machine gun company, and the medals he received for his leadership in combat. Remind the students to include his Alabama background. Review the grading rubric so that the students will know the expectations.

The next day, allow students to share their eulogies.



Attachments:
**Some files will display in a new window. Others will prompt you to download.
  Assessment  

Assessment Strategies

Formative:

The teacher should monitor the students as they discuss the primary sources and documentary. Prompt/Assist students as needed.

The teacher should monitor the students as they are reading, annotating, and discussing the biography.

Summative:

The teacher may grade the T-charts and the biography annotations. This may be a completion grade for thoroughness and accuracy.

The teacher may utilize the rubrics provided in the attachments for scoring the eulogies.

 

Acceleration:

Students may use the biography and other biographies to annotate a map of his world travels.

Students may create a Mobile, Alabama historical marker for Europe's contribution to jazz music or his role as the first African American officer to lead troops in combat. 

Intervention:

Students may work with a partner to read and annotate the biography.

Students may use digital assistance or work with a partner to write the eulogy.


View the Special Education resources for instructional guidance in providing modifications and adaptations for students with significant cognitive disabilities who qualify for the Alabama Alternate Assessment.