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Voices Across Time


Found in: language arts & literature, social studies, 6-8, 9-12

Voices Across Time: American History Through Music is an anthology of contemporary songs, (primary sources) lesson plans, and other resources for grade 6-12 social studies, language arts, and music:

  • The Teacher’s Resource Guide provides an introduction, FAQs, unit walkthrough, and nine units. Under each unit songs are listed with lyrics, downloadable MIDI files, or links to available recordings.
  • Lesson Plans are based on music from 1760-present. PDFs of the lessons are available. A lesson for 7th grade social studies students, Slave Code Songs, covers the period 1800-1860 to be used in a unit on slavery. Students work in pairs or small groups to explore how song lyrics can contain hidden meaning and why singers would want to conceal meaning in their lyrics. In The Great Gatsby And The Roaring Twenties for 10th grade American Literature, students identify and evaluate the presence of music in literature.
  • Timely Tunes Archive features song titles related to calendar events. A list of Campaign Songs (Washington-Clinton) is included for Election Day. News and current events link to resources..
  • Other Resources provides links to more material for exploring American history with music.
  • In addition, the Center for American Music Library offers Resource Packages for four lesson plans with primary and secondary sources that use historic American music from the Center's collections.

Note: The Center for American Music in the University of Pittsburgh’s Library System offers a five-week institute for K-12 teachers. For teachers interested in the Summer Institute for Teachers: We hope to host our next Summer Institute in Summer 2018. Please check back here in Fall, 2017, for more information.

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