ALEX Lesson Plan Resources

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ALEX Lesson Plans  
Subject: Arts Education (6 - 8), or Literacy Standards (6-12) (6 - 8), or Social Studies (6)
Title: Remembering James Reese Europe: Leader in Battle and Music
Description: 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.


Subject: Arts Education (6 - 12), or Social Studies (11)
Title: Music: A Vehicle for Wartime Protest
Description: 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.  


Subject: Arts Education (6 - 8)
Title: A Brief History of Jazz!
Description: 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.


Subject: Arts Education (6 - 12), or Social Studies (11), or Technology Education (9 - 12)
Title: The Roaring Twenties
Description: 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.


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