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Infusing Hip Hop to Teach English Language Learners

Curriculum constructed from a Masters Cognate project for Sonoma State University | College of Education | T.eaching E.nglish to S.peakers of O.ther L.anguages (T.E.S.O.L.) Alexander S. Templeton, M.Ed., M.A.

Yo! This is a base curriculum unit formed from the ethnographic study and participation within a piloted curriculum built and conducted discursively for a Masters Cognate project, undertaken by the author, Alexander S. Templeton, M.Ed., M.A. The lessons and unit are designed from video-recorded ethnographic observations, performances by the learners, and lessons performed by myself. If you wish to gather a more complete scope of the context, it might be helpful to read my narrative ethnographic report first. This becomes important because I dignified my work by being a participant-observer, as well as having learners immersed in the abstractions of simulated experiential practices found in Hip Hop culture. Aside from specific grammar or audio-lingual instruction found in many basal text and workbooks, you can find a project-based direction in the unit, and a culminating video/audio project integrated into the unit. The lesson plans are designed to build towards a culminating student project-based learning to build either a music video, documentary, language slide show (using Movie Maker/iMovie), or any other technology you may adapt, so that they are producing and performing language in displaying both its form and function. The following are lesson plans designed to be conducted in their order, however, educators may wish to choose and use particular plans from the unit in many different instances and contexts. Important as well, is that the author (me) is a practitioner of Hip Hop culture and lyricism, so careful attention should be paid in making your own adaptations based on your own talents, skills, strengths, and weaknesses. Peace Pace Hast Alexander S. Templeton, M.Ed., M.A. Bar

Table of Contents
Session 1 Building a 3rd Space Language Community: Cipher 3rd Space ...3
Safe Cipher Agreements based on Hip Hops Declaration of Peace ...................... 6

Session 2 -- Building Language and Corpora from Texts and Images: Responding to Tupac .................................................................................8
I am From Poems .......................................................................................... 11-12 Song/Lyric Script Template .................................................................................. 13

Session 3 -- Decoding Images for Language and Literacy: Freirian Pedagogy...................................................................................................19

Untitled Song Lyrics ........................................................................................... 21 Images to decode from ......................................................................................... 24

Session 4: Building language from proverbs, mottos, & sayings From proverb to Rap Genius .............................................................................29
Proverb websites for ELLs .................................................................................... 29 Sample Music Songs ............................................................................................. 32

Session 5: Complimentary Rap Battle .....................................................36

Five Levels of Language Proficiency ...................................................................... 40 Complimentary Rap Battle Judging Bulls-eye Pie Language Rubric ................. 41

Session 6: Hip Hop Language Video & Song/Story Scripting -- Its a New World .......................................................................................................42
Its a New World Lyrics ..................................................................................... 48

References .................................................................................................51 About the Author .52

Session No. 1: Cipher Safe 3rd Space Building a Safe space for Dialogue
Overview: Hip Hop thrives on self-expression, identity, and self-proclamation and empowerment, within individuality. You are whom you define yourself, and Hip Hop is what you make it. Some say, If you dont speak for yourself, others will try, so you should speak only for yourself. Therefore, the purpose of this first workshop is to build a safe space where nobodys self, or answers are judged, within the safe cipher (dialogue) space. This first lesson plan is based on The HipHop Declaration of Peace (see references).

Preparation - Trust Building activity adapted from Call and

Response (Pollack & Fusoni, p. 188).
Goals Time Physical contact Physical challenge Communication, Trust 15 minutes (not including processing) None Must be able to call out a word, distinguish words in the crowd, and move through the crowd with eyes closed. Number of participants 10 to 40 Space requirements A large open space Materials needed None Preparation Decide on the pairs discussion format (see step 4) tailored to the purpose of the workshop. For example, the pairs could discuss where they are from and thoughts about issues that are important to the goals of the workshop. NOTE: With an unformed group that is unfamiliar with each other, this can be used to help people get to know each other. However, the exercise is somewhat high-risk.

1. Ask the group to line up according to birthdays, from January through December. (For an additional challenge, do a silent line up). 2. Once the line is formed, ask the January end to fold around so that it is across from the December end. Each person should have a face-to-face partner. If there are an uneven number of people, a facilitator should participate. 3. Tell the partners to shake hands and introduce themselves to each other, using any unique handshakes they might know. 4. Tell the group that when they reunite with their partners they are to have a brief discussion (2-5 minutes), and give them the format for the discussion.

5. Each pair then decides on a two-word phrase or compound word examples are peanut butter, football, ice cream and each pair announce its word/phrase to be sure there are no duplications. (If there is duplication, the second pair to announce its word/phrase must choose something else. This also applies to the duplication of half of the word or phrase; such as if one pair says football and a later pair says baseball.) 6. The two lines then go to opposite sides of the room and mix themselves up so they are not lined up as they were before. 7. Everyone closes their eyes and puts their bumpers up arms bent in front with palms forward. 8. Each person calls out their word and listens for their partners word, and then moves slowly through the crowd with the goal of meeting up with the partner. 9. When the pairs meet, people open their eyes and talk (following the format that you gave earlier). 10. When all pairs have had a few moments to talk, call time.

Processing Suggestions
The exercise involved two different types of communication with partners (the call and response and the discussion). Did both styles serve their purposes effectively? Could they have been interchanged? What kinds of situations are the different styles best suited for? Did people have problems trying to find their partners? What caused problems? What does this problem represent when talking or dialoguing in a small group? How did you choose your matching words? Why did you choose them? How do we identify our allies and those with similar interests? There are positive ways to do this (for example, joining an interest group, a sub culture), and negative ways, (for example, gang colors, drugs, or racist groups). What was it like moving with your eyes closed? You can talk about the need to move slowly through things when you are not fully aware of the situation. How does this exercise represent the importance of meeting people halfway?

Building Agreements
1. Building agreements (based on principles) in practice for dialogue with group learners: a. (Option 1) use cardboard color paper, or butcher paper and draw out lines into large puzzle pieces with about 3 to 5 pieces per square and hand out each puzzle piece to individual learners in the groups. 2. Revisit the principles one at a time. Briefly read and review all the principles one at a time with learners. Ask them to listen and read along this first pass. 3. Have students offer keywords on their shape of the puzzle. Any images drawn by learners should be accompanied by words, and the educator in the dialogue space on the wall should include these words in discussion. a. (Option 2) have learners form short sentences in pairs or groups underneath each principle b. (Option 3) have learners simply list their keywords and vocalize their sentence level or paragraph level answers. 4. Guide learners in building agreements for each principle (see numbered below), by providing cues and prompts, but not full phrases, and emphasize their need to write them down after vocalizing them. 5. Sanctions also are highly recommended and require some time to be put in place: a. (Option 1) These sanctions can be formed one by one for each principle-based agreement. b. (Option 2) These can be contingent up completion of all of all of the principles. 6. Whatever the option chosen, all Sanctions should address or include how the group, or the instructor, or both, will offer that sanction and the expectations for it to be honored.
Sanction examples: A. B. C. D. E. F. G. Address the group in general referring to agreements Offer a talking object that determines one speaker at a time, and all listeners to that speaker Ask the learner to explain what purpose or goal is to be met for the whole group Compile an anonymous letter of evaluation from the whole group to give to disruptor in private. Have a one-on-one discussion with disruptor. (instructor - directed) Seek out facilitation and/or mediation from a neutral and highly trained outside party. Implement an exercise to educate and promote effective communication. (instructor - directed)

Safe Cipher Agreements based on Hip Hops Declaration of Peace

(For Each Principle ask the learners, what does this mean to you, and how can we apply it to our group? Have them vocalize, then write, the principle into their own words on their puzzle piece, or next to the number, or list them. If they are too difficult, then skip them, or facilitate to simplify the principles, and apply them later accordingly. 1. Speaking in turn for one self

First Principle Hiphop (Hip'Hop) is a term that describes our independent collective consciousness. 2. Offering insight, commentary, critique or answers

Second Principle Hiphop [K]ulture respects the dignity and sanctity of life without discrimination or prejudice. 3. Observe where we are at all times

Third Principle Hiphop Culture respects the Laws and agreements of its culture, its country, its institutions, and whomever it does business with; Hiphop does not irresponsibly break Laws and commitments. 4. Respect, Rights, and Dignity

Fourth Principle As a conscious way of life, we acknowledge our influence on society, especially on children; and we shall forever keep the rights and welfare of both in mind. Hiphop culture encourages womanhood, manhood, sisterhood, brotherhood, childhood, and family. We are conscious not to bring any intentional disrespect that jeopardizes the dignity and reputation of our children, elders, and ancestors. 5. Always define as best you can, and always do your best

Fifth Principle The ability to define, defend, and educate ourselves is encouraged, developed, preserved, protected and promoted as a means toward peace and prosperity, and toward the protection and the development of our self-worth. Through knowledge of purpose and the development of our natural and learned skills, Hiphoppas are encouraged to always present their best work and ideas. 6. Honesty and Co-existence

Sixth Principle Hiphop Kulture does not participate in activities that clearly destroy or alter its ability to productively and peacefully exist. Hiphoppas are encouraged to initiate and participate in fair trade and honesty in all negotiations and transactions. 7. Empowerment, not just about Commercial Commodity or Product

Seventh Principle Hiphop is the priceless principle of our self-empowerment. Hiphop is not a product. 8. Diversity is a strength for ideas and musical works

Eleventh Principle The Hiphop community exists as an international culture of consciousness that provides all races, tribes, religions, and styles of people a foundation for the communication of their best ideas and works. Hiphop Kulture is united as one multi-skilled, multi-cultural, multi-faith, multiracial people committed to the establishment and the development of peace. 9. Safe Dialogue towards Peace

Fourteenth Principle Hiphop Kulture supports a dialogue and action that heals divisions in society, addresses the legitimate concerns of humankind, and advances the cause of peace. 10. Whenever you share, you assist in relieving of suffering, and you develop one another

Seventeenth Principle Hiphoppas are encouraged to share resources. Hiphoppas should give as freely and as often as possible. It is the duty of every Hiphoppa to assist, whenever possible, in the relief of human suffering and in the correction of injustice. Hiphop is shown the highest respect when Hiphoppas respect each other. Hiphop Kulture is preserved, nurtured, and developed when Hiphoppas preserve, nurture, and develop one another.

Session No. 2: Responding and Building from Tup ac Building Language and Corpora from Text and Images
Overview: Transliteration is not exact translation; it is the use of standard language, non-standard language, colloquialisms, vernacular and any figurative language from the learners primary or target language. This lesson involves poem and song analysis using sociocultural approaches to literacy as a social practice. It most importantly is the second more intricate piece for building a third space with students for a language community as part of their empowerment and engagement. 1. We are going to attempt to write a poem or a song from prose. (Show the first page from Tupac (see Appendix) about his stepfather on a doc cam in full color, not in black and white handouts). 2. Have learners either write back to it, or write back to words they hear, or the images on the page once while you read the page, and again after you read the page again a. What are some words you thought of or heard that you would like to share? (Write their words and ideas on the board to build corpus) 3. Repeat for second page (see Appendix, p. 16) from Tupac about his choice to become a rapper: a. Have learners either write back to it, or write back to words they hear, or the images on the page once while you read the page, and again after you read the page again (craft, identity, community). 4. Repeat for the third page from Tupac (see Appendix, p. 18), about his artistry, genre, Hunger (Maslows needs), and relation to social and political movements (autonomy, self-determination, community) a. Have learners either write back to it, or write back to words they hear, or the images on the page once while you read the page, and again after you read the page again (autonomy, self-determination). NOTE: This is where the educator can determine this first part as a lesson from a whole unit, or continue on to the following procedures for connecting to lessons.

Transliteration of prose into regular text or speech

5. We notice that Tupac is speaking in a narrative form, using prose. Lets try to respond back to him or speak for ourselves using literary poetry to Hip Hop poetry. 6. Lets translate our regular speech into academic or school speech with what we have written. a. Part Three Transliteration of regular or school speech or text into poetic depending on level of learner and skills 7. Now, lets translate our academic or school speech, into a poem using poetic language, or Hip Hop rhymes. NOTE: This is where the educator can determine this first part as a lesson from a whole unit, or continue on to the following procedures for connecting to lessons.

Building from, and using personal identity Poetry

8. Now, Im going to show you both a pure poetry form of responding to Tupac and speaking for myself, through a poem I wrote, and through a video I made. 9. Show learners the I am from (see Appendix) on a doc cam and read the first poem to scaffold for their levels and motivation, or offer a poem to share about yourself to help form third space. This is important to open up a space for connecting with students who are either apprehensive about sharing who they are, or are constantly exploring who they are using poetry, their language, or Hip Hop. a. Tell the learners only you can tell your story, and if you do not, then someone else will. For example, Tupac often quoted, Only god can judge me. What is your story? i. (If no dialogue is elicited, then continue) b. Reread the poem c. Lets look back at the poem again, how are the lines in the poem formed? 10. Now, you please offer an I am poem in your native language, and in English, and using any Hip Hop or poetic language or words you know

i. Lets start with some words you know or can think of, (corpus) ii. I will come around and assist you in your writing if you wish. iii. I will ask you to try to share some of your poem, but this is not required. b. Emphasize to learners, This I am poem poem or song should speak for you and respond to Tupac, and you can use either poetry, school language, or Hip Hop rhymes.

Forming multimodal semiotics for Language Videos: Movie Maker or iMovie

NOTE: This is where the educator can determine this first part as a lesson from a whole unit, or continue on to the following procedures for connecting to lessons. 11. Even if you feel more comfortable with poetry, and not Hip Hop rhymes, let me show you something first: a. Show the snippet from Text to Poetic transliteration video Its a New World found here: 12. Notice either poetry or Hip Hop rhyme lyrics can be used to form this. 13. Do you want to learn how to make one, as well as write a song using your languages and your English? What about a music video usin g multiple languages? a. Discuss story and song scripts and pass them out to learners (see Appendix). b. Review the different areas of the framework for the vocal/poem/song script. 14. Discuss, observe, and guide learners offering and dialoguing about their strategies and your own for learners to produce and perform language, among other semiotics found useful using this software.


I am from Poem I am from Im Spanish from Spain to Soy Chicano y que? I am from my healing mother and the missing music of my father. I am from poetry and music, and the rich soil and bloodlines who toiled to bring life, and sacrificed for the spoils of gold. Im from you oughtta join our gang to what was that quote a-gain? Im from; Im still learning the conquerors language, to speaking my heart in Spanish, pain, love and confusion. Im from Meester, do you speak Spanish? and What is your favorite soccer team? and go to college and get off the couch, and use that computer!. I am from being a latch key kid, and you get two stars for doing chores, to Mom, lets talk as adults about your parenting. I am from I understand your anger, sister, but your daughter will be taken for good, if you cant change your parenting style. I am from, Ill buy you a house someday, Mom to I teach Mom, and live on spirit, like you told me.


I am from Poem I am from mystery, alliance, and friendly competition. I am from energy from, and into, our leaders, and my dreams to build victors instead of victims. I am from a healthy pain, a healthy defense and layers of loving offense. I am from Respect, that was sometimes taken, instead of earned. I am from government cheese, the same cheese and pieces of gobierno my ancestors defied, and yet, defined. I am from the lies my teacher told me, and those I believed about my Native American friends who claimed the land, and did not share it with others. I am from a broken land, broken and mended hearts, and the mending of minds. I am not from the pope, I am from my mother, both maternal and earthly. I am from craftsmen and immigrants, tribes that had more in common than they did in difference. I am from the reality that every petty quarrel we build from our colonization equals another young mind or life lost. I am from a street unpaved like my rough journey through a University, full of racist & classist roadblocks and gatekeepers. I am from dodging prisons as religion, to voter registration, and grassroots upheaval. I am from the stars, but only a few of the stripes. I am from all of you, and all of me.


Script Template
Use this blank template to plan your poetry/vocal video and language piece.

Project Title:
Time Video/Image Audio







Session No. 3: Decoding images for Song writing based on Freirian pedagogy for literacy
Overview: language learners who are unable to read, write, or produce written language for whatever reason, can still produce language through musical means. Using songs or musical instruments does not require formal reading or writing, but can come from improvisation, of innate feeling, and/ or internal or external environmental stimuli. Images can be used to produce language in this manner. Materials: Song lyrics sample, Corpus of Words, Power point software, word processing software, and a projector for a computer screen. 1. Educator builds a PowerPoint with five to six images based on the Units lesson plans or themes gathered from interactions and discursive practice of the lessons from the learners. 2. Be sure to place the images in the center, in large, so learners can see them. 3. (Building a word corpus)-- Say this as a prompt to the learners: What is going on that can help us build a song? a. Educator repeats this question for every image in the slide to elicit words, ideas, phrases, and descriptions of the image, while typing them on the notes area of the slide. Format, spelling, and correct grammar are not the priority, getting the most amounts of ideas and words are. 4. Now lets build a song from the words, phrases, and ideas we gathered, pulling from each picture we viewed. 5. Copy and paste all of the words, phrases, and ideas onto a word document where the learners can see them. 6. Prepare a separate word document where the song lyrics will be built from the corpus. a. Songs usually have three verses, three sets of the same chorus, and one bridge (in most Rock n Roll genres). b. Hip Hop songs usually have three verses, three sets of the same chorus, and one bridge for a break beat or scratch solo.


c. Describe what these are if needed, however, allow the learners to organize them accordingly as they wish. Note: (This can also be related to essay organization). d. Paste the words and lyrics they choose and build above the corpus list, so that their attention and focus remains on the song lyric, only scrolling down to look at the corpus and re-read words. i. This cues the auditory, while still having them focus on the images and words being built, and not overwhelming them with the large corpus of words. 7. Read the words, phrases, and ideas aloud to the learners from the images in the same order they were presented. 8. Be sure to write lyrics AS YOU HEAR THEM. However, to facilitate discussion of the ideas or changes to the lyrics among the learners, and give them control over the process, but leave the educator with the final product. a. Learners can always take and revise a copy of the finished song as they wish in any dynamic group fashion. b. It is important for the educator to facilitate creativity, target language use, and try to steer the learners NOT re-use end rhymes or simile too much, as they will make the song sound redundant and tacky. 9. See the following here for the song that was built from the corpus following it.


(Song not titled) The cityscapes like dominoes and were all the dots,
Were always on the spot; were never on top,

Where the city sleeps, Where the silence grows deep Where no mans land ends, We dont want to end up in a salesmen club and lose all friends, like murky water, in my toilet bowl, saturated with black mold like memories that fade, then turn into gold (pre chorus) Can you connect the dots? Are you with me or me or not? (chorus) Oxyclean on the rocks Kickin around pandoras box, Risking our lives in this pantomime Tap dancin on that land mine (verse) The light of death is an atrocity, End not in hypocrisy, Raps that last throughout the ages, Traps we escape like rats from cages, A search for pandoras box,


forever lost in paradox again the nervous flavor oxyclean The fruity time saver (pre chorus) Can you connect the dots? Are you with me or me or not? (chorus) Oxyclean on the rocks Kickin around pandoras box, Risking our lives in this pantomime Tap dancin on a land mine Turn up the volume to 11 dig in the tone, cause its fun did you see that girl shes an angel who broke outta heaven Does she think twice? Am I the one? Shes in the party image Im the geek with no spitting image no geeks allowed at the party after the party Im her winner (please insert coin to continue) Help me, help me, help me, Now come up and claim your prize (pre chorus)


Can you connect the dots? Are you with me or me or not? (chorus) Oxyclean on the rocks Kickin around pandoras box, Risking our lives in this pantomime Tap dancin on a land mine


Letters on the keys, The message, The rhythm The sound, Dominoes, game, keyboard, dots, its all a game, theres a house, connect the dots, city scape, I get it, so its a musical game of life, tower, of power, house, apartment, hotel, strip club, Convoluted, interesting, confusion, awkward, organized, creative, re-ative, darkened, contrasting, unexplainable connection,


Art, Fiction, Light, Death, Creativity, album, Binder, painting, pants, skull, death, recreation, imagination, making life better, happy go lucky, Hes overcoming, Actually painting all of that over this Conflicting, I see a gun. Battle between good and evil, atrocity, swords, begging people, Pandoras Box, perfect, good box had hope and bad box had worry


Excited, partying, dark, loud, majestic, No beats in the olden times,

Beethoven, Raps that would last throughout the ages, Humorous, humor, turntables, rapping, weird, M.C. Beethoven, Bill and Ted, under pressure, Teddy bear and Ted, smacks forehead, epic battles, Rasputin,

Nervous, silver, sound again, flavor, think music, popular, Microphone, two things that dont go together, Run-DMC, black eyed peas, detail, guerillas, William shatner, bust a move, stop moving, Dun nuh, colorful, nonsensical, iconic, ages, rock of ages, volume, turn it up to 11, break the dial and overload it with electricity, dig the tone, dont write that, Fiery amp, and he writes it,


yeah, yeah, laugh, graffiti, cover art, bad idea, yeah it was, type it, questions, i

Sexy, guitar girl, capturing, mysterious, guitar, metal on wood, Nice guitar, female, bad ass, sexy guitarist, cleft, shorts, female equivalent, Dumbledore, shred, long hair, (name of learner), imaginary girlfriend, frets, chords, tremolo, bass, on a computer, How many strings? Strat, everything we say, notes, piano keys, wolfman jack, repetition, (name of learner), awkward for rule 63, geek,


After the party, your friends, this is stupid, captions, dont worry, and the winner is, insert coin to continue, insert coin, thats it, Yelling, acting like kids, who won? Mustache, beard, sweater fest, block billy, hillbilly, door, window, schooled, back and forth, ADHD, AC/DC, HD/HD, help me X 3 Oh yeah, multiplication, memory loss, happiness, mad, laughing, rage, no way, irritation, way, detachment, black belt, shirt,


Session No. 4: Building language from proverbs, mottos, & sayings From proverb to Rap Genius
Overview: Many of the simplest prose or poetic language can be found or inferred from the chorus of songs. Likewise, many proverbs, mottos, (dichos, hechos, etc.) and other sayings offer insight to build standard and non-standard prose and poetic language. Learners can bring sayings they know from parents, family, movies, songs, stories, or any source to explore and deconstruct them, and by working with Interlanguage, metalanguage, and offering translations to others who may not know their native languages, they are learning language within a task based communicative fashion. Rap genius is a site that educators and learners can join free that explains rap lyrics, scripture, and poetry through annotations provided free from the online public. Having learners offering their own annotations of their own chorus lyrics, and analyzing those of their peers, immerses them into language analysis, creation, and different genres across and between these works. 1. Offer or find one of your favorite proverbs, dichos, mottos, hechos, proverbs, or any meaningful sayings in your own language or in English that you are familiar with, or would like to learn. 2. Have learners explore using these sites (which can be translated into English): a. Multilingual/Multicultural proverbs b. Dichos (Spanish) | | c. English (Commonly used idiomatic expressions) | English proverbs with brief one sentence explanations | d. Definition of a proverb 3. Situate learners depending on their native languages, English language levels and the complexity and length of their chosen proverbs.


4. Show them an example of one group of learners who formed a short chorus lyric from this video: 5. Refer back to the written lyrics, and scaffold and model for learners analyzing the proverbs by translating them into Standard English or straight into poetic or Hip Hop speak. NOTE: This can be done in any fashion the educator sees fit, but should be done visually in front of the learners using a doc cam or projector, (here is where genre analysis and contrastive rhetoric are underlying the scaffolding). a. Among standard language elements that can be discussed: sentence structure, tense, parallelism, agreement, figurative language, etc. (See Cowan). b. Among poetic (non-standard)/ Hip Hop language elements that can be discussed: meter, figurative language, verb or noun placement, etc. (See Cowan). 6. Have learners build a four-line chorus or hook from their chosen proverbs words and ideas. a. Their chorus does not have to completely mimic the proverb, but can adopt or adapt ideas, themes, or particular words from it. (This can be shown in the educators modeling noted above). b. Remind them that some choruses they find may be in standard English, poetry, Hip Hop speak or any combination of these, and that their own that they create can be as well. 7. Offer the learners the (see Sample Songs) below; --focusing on E Extension for this particular lesson--, as a participatory set and have them transition into listening and reading more lyrics. 8. Now have learners practice more in understanding how lyrics and chorus are offered explanations by having them explore 9. Have learners share their four-line hook (chorus) with others, explaining what it means to them vocally, and what it should mean to their listeners vocally.


10. Have learners submit their own lyrics to and offer their own selfannotations on the site. 11. Have their peers offer edits and comments on their lyrics, before they submit a final draft of them to the Rap Genius website for their peers and others to view online.

Lesson Extension with Technology Infusions

1. (Adapted from Stephen Mayeuxs 2. Have learners continue to contribute back to by finding a rap lyric that is unique or special to them, or is either very different, or very similar to their own rap. 3. Have learners offer a vocal and written comparison about those similarities, differences, or uniqueness, showing the lyrics side by side, and taking it line-byline, or paragraph by paragraph. 4. Provide, or have learners choose, an instrumental for them to perform their lyrics for the class. 5. Have learners use Pandora to find, stream, and share their favorite tracks on a facebook group created and regulated by the educator. a. Provide them the platform to share their thoughts with an active audience and do so through written texts, while also learning more about their chosen artists in reading about their bios. b. It is important to have learners choose and analyze their own choices in music, and not to prioritize the chosen works or preferences of the educator, in order for them to build their own learner autonomy. 6. Shazam is a music identifying software program available on most cell phones and downloadable on computers, where one can record any song they hear from virtually any source clearly into their cell phone or computer, and the artist, year, and title of the track will be identified by the program.


a. LyricPlay tool on Shazam allows lyrics to display with the music in real time, essentially allowing for the ability to hold a live Karaoke session in the workshop, focused on speaking, reading, and pronunciation practice.

Language Craft and Analysis

Overview: Analyzing musical and lyrical tracks for content and language elements provides a robust use of semiotics for language elements. Figurative Language, syncopation, rhyme scheme, parable, incredulous, hyperbole, personification, remixing, grammar, and punctuation can all be focused upon. The following are some directions and suggested literary elements that can be focused on for language teaching. 1. If these are not fitting, feel free to choose musical Video tracks with lyrics on the screen for ESL/ELL/ELD/TESOL learners. 2. Always try to include or discuss the cultural aspects of Hip Hop for dialogue and robust intercultural communication. 3. Have them think and discuss about the aesthetic and language elements of the tracks and lyrics using guiding questions or those brought up in dialogue. 4. Have learners provide written responses to the questions in regular prose or text, or have them write to respond to the artists in a poetic fashion or in rhyme. 5. Craft Focus -- An extension can always be offered for those who are prepared and/or musically inclined have them adopt or adapt a chosen piece to form their own.

Sample Songs
Mi Tiempo (Spanish, Spanglish, English) -- You hear two local artists who speak upon their past and focus their message on seeing their own future, without risking their lives in the rap game. A. Language Focus -- Notice the use of Spanglish and Bilingualism in sharing how their stories are used to offer them in both languages, and with a mix of them both in some lines. B. Voice both are both are recognizing each anothers struggles, and the strength that comes from telling your story using both identities, and both languages.


C. Figurative Language: i. Keep the future locked, but keep the keys to your past is the chorus in English, what does it mean to you? Para tener paz, si le vente es de ms, si lo quiero sabe ms, se lo que te traigo dia is the chorus in Spanish, what does it mean to you?


D. Craft Focus -- Notice the overdubs (the doubling of voice on the vocals on the last verse), this is a common way to emphasize words and ideas, and this is solid way to get the attention of your listeners. Note, however, this is good for recording, but not for performing, because you should always rap your own lyrics without dubbing them when performing live, and never lip-sync them. E. Extension -- Offer your favorite poems, dichos, mottos, proverbs, hechos, or any meaningful sayings as a text to build chorus and lyrics. Power and purpose of language a. Notice how their stories in their lyrics share each others struggle, without having to result to trying to be hard; they are being real without offending the audience, but trying to have them listen to their story. b. What can you share with others that you can voice better in your native language instead of English? c. How can your listener return a response in their native language of English that speaks to you? d. How can two sayings in two different languages mean the same thing to different people? Dear Mama 2 Pac (with Spanish Subtitles): One of the most prolific West Coast poets and rappers, later an esteemed actor, whos delivery and style stems from Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, and the gospel. Tupac rapped from his gut, so his voice would fluctuate, and maintain his melody. He has been written and talked about more than any other rapper in history. Notice how his lyrics sound like he is giving a speech, or praying, or calling out to others from a mountaintop. 1. Intonation -- Accent or syllabic stress on certain words changes the intonation of his words.


2. Punctuation being careful to listen and read his lyrics to the beat of his music, we can find where he would place commas in his writing, as depicted in his recorded poetry. If we attempt to change or move commas, we can see how punctuation is a part of intonation. 3. Cadence like any rapper, their cadence is how and where their syllables of each word meet on the meter of the beat behind them. 4. Extension Have learners listen and read speeches from Malcolm X or Martin Luther King, Jr. and place up-facing arrows underneath the words where their voice fluctuates upwards, and down facing arrows underneath the words where their voice fluctuates downwards. 5. Tone -- His voice makes words travel, meaning he stretches out their syllables and syncopates them over. Try this for emotional impact. Masculinity 1. Questions for discussion: Where is this song placed amongst being real, being hard, and being soft? 2. How you relate to your mom and sister, will always reflect how you relate to all the women in your life. Think about this well when listening to the chorus. Purpose of language 3. Tupac admits to his own faults, the faults and hearts of men, but understands the struggle, and the miracles of the power of language. Master these tools, and you can master yourself.


Appendix Sample Learner Vocals


Session No. 5: Complimentary Rap Battle

Overview: This lesson is designed to have learners play with language and rhymes with any source of musical instrumentals in the background. Prior to this lesson, it is ideal to either model, or show in the video, how learners are completely free styling (improvising) to replicate the experiential essence of Hip Hop culture. However, for this more apprehensive or less skilled in producing language, a free flow poem, or even spoken word or recited written poem of the learners choice is perfectly acceptable given this competition is really a collaboration disguised to build comfort in cultural space and learning environment. Materials: 1) The Flocabulary Formula for Mastering Words with Figurative Language .pdf), 2) Digital Video Camcorder or recording device, 3) Microphones (optional), 4) Bulls eye Pie language rubric (see pg. 17 in this document) and YouTube Video example: Time: 50 minutes to 120 minutes Age Level: 12 to 24 years old Language level: Emerging to Expanding (See Appendix for Five Levels of Language Learning) 1. Explain the video prompt before to have them focus in on how the learners complement each other using rhymes, taking 30 seconds for each round, and having their peers offer who won the compliment battle, and explain and justify their reasons. 2. In this case, the focus is on the use of figurative language: (i.e. colloquialisms, vernacular, metaphor, simile, parables, etc.) Therefore, the educator can choose which to highlight and place on the board for a focus for learners. 3. Show the learners the video as an anticipatory set, and then ask which rapper formed figurative language in their rhyming sentences? 4. Although not visible in the video, most importantly, the teacher prompts the listeners to watch the video one more time, and this time, to have them write words and phrases they hear from each of the vocalists that are what they think as figurative language. a. Provide a brief mini lesson on metaphor or similes, being sure to use examples the learners provide, and that are provided from the video. 5. Show the learners the video again, then discuss with the learners what language aspects they noticed, and how did the rapper form them as sentences?


6. In pairs or groups, review with them the use of The Flocabulary Formula for Mastering Words with Figurative Language .pdf), and take any appropriate steps in outlining a figurative use of language and rhyme. a. It is important here to be sensitive to cultural differences and levels in language, but to include learners own sociolinguistic vernacular or colloquialisms specific to their native or Multilanguage identities, so announce to them that, I encourage you to mix in your own slang or figurative language from your first language or other languages you speak. 7. Then, in production, deconstructions, and reconstruction of language, have them offer kind critique or responses to each other, and reform their complimentary figurative statements if needed. a. This also provides a cultural third space where educators and facilitate dialogue within an intercultural speakers who find similarities and differences in their vernaculars, pronunciation, and colloquialisms. 8. Using the Material Complimentary Rap Battle Judging Bulls-eye discuss at least three of the following literary and poetic elements of language that can be evaluated: a. Paragraph level Punch lines, humor or original use of language b. Sentence level i. Figurative language: Metaphor or Similes used ii. Syncopation amount of syllables per line that fit or carried through on the metered beat c. Word level i. End Rhymes (words that have the same phonemic diagraphs in their vowel and/or consonants) ii. Slant Rhymes (words that sound similar but with different phonemic diagraphs in their vowel and/or consonants) iii. Syllables (The amount of words with more than two or three syllables) d. Personality, tone, voice, and use of personal vernacular (various) 9. Evaluating Language Rubric: Have learners outline a section of the bulls eye outer pie pieces with these language elements. They should also section out each pie piece into three sections so it resembles a dartboard.


10. Explain and model using this bulls eye dartboard rubric to show the learners that the closer they place their scoring marks to the bulls eye, the more impressive these language elements were they observed, and the larger the score for these tally score marks. 11. Then have them practice their scoring with a tally, using the following marks: a. M for M.etaphor

b. Si for S.imile c. E for E.nd Rhyme d. Sl for S.lant Rhyme), i. Note: Using the Material Complimentary Rap Battle Judging Bullseye discuss and analyze any of the elements at the language levels (seen on 8.a through 8.d above) 12. And have them listen and observe closely to mark for how many times they hear each language element from each vocalist. 13. In preparation for performing production of language, have learners share and recite some of their figurative sentences to their partners or small groups. However, try to save them being known to the whole group for the competition. Unless they are ready and willing as a group to go directly into the language performance competition, then take time for them to do this important peer reviewing and evaluation practice. 14. Now, we begin! 15. Digitally and visually, record the learners rhyming to complement each other, taking 30 seconds for each round, and having their peers offer whoever won the compliment battle, for each round, and explain and justify their reasons. a. Rounds and participants can be formed in sequences of threes, but should not be longer than 15 to 30 seconds or 16 bars of lyrically metered rhyme language (see advanced Hip Hop poetics or musical performance for this reference). b. Wait time is important here, so make time to have all participants perform, and then for all judges to offer their scores in groups. c. Jigsaw methods can allow for a panel of judges, chosen by each group, so that they have one representative from each group.


16. Most important however, is that the learners are writing language they hear or observe at the bottom portion of their rubrics, or the educator can also gather these sentences to build upon a class rubric on a computer on a larger projector or doc cam. 17. Repeat this procedure, gather a robust corpus of sentence level, word level, and even paragraph level examples, and dialogue, and have learners revamp, revise, or re-use The Flocabulary Formula for Mastering Words with Figurative Language.


Appendix -- Five Levels of Language Proficiency The use of five levels reflects the complexity of language development and allows the tracking of student progress across grade levels within the same scale. The five levels of language proficiency reflect characteristics of language performance at each developmental stage. The language proficiency levels are intended to highlight and provide a model of the process of language acquisition that can be adapted by individual districts and states. Level 1-Starting At L1, students initially have limited or no understanding of English. They rarely use English for communication. They respond nonverbally to simple commands, statements, and questions. As their oral comprehension increases, they begin to imitate the verbalizations of others by using single words or simple phrases, and they begin to use English spontaneously. At the earliest stage, these learners construct meaning from text primarily through illustrations, graphs, maps, and tables. Level 2-Emerging At L2, students can understand phrases and short sentences. They can communicate limited information in simple everyday and routine situations by using memorized phrases, groups of words, and formulae. They can use selected simple structures correctly but still systematically produce basic errors. Students begin to use general academic vocabulary and familiar everyday expressions. Errors in writing are present that often hinder communication. Level 3-Developing At L3, students understand speech that is more complex but still may require some repetition. They use English spontaneously but may have difficulty expressing all their thoughts due to a restricted vocabulary and a limited command of language structure. Students at this level speak in simple sentences, which are comprehensible and appropriate, but which are frequently marked by grammatical errors. Proficiency in reading may vary considerably. Students are most successful constructing meaning from texts for which they have background knowledge upon which to build. Level 4-Expanding At L4, students language skills are adequate for most day-to-day communication needs. They communicate in English in new or unfamiliar settings but have occasional difficulty with complex structures and abstract academic concepts. Students at this level may read with considerable fluency and are able to locate and identify the specific facts within the text. However, they may not understand texts in which the concepts are presented in a decontextualized manner, the sentence structure is complex, or the vocabulary is abstract or has multiple meanings. They can read independently but may have occasional comprehension problems, especially when processing grade-level information. Level 5-Bridging At L5, students can express themselves fluently and spontaneously on a wide range of personal, general, academic, or social topics in a variety of contexts. They are poised to function in an environment with native speaking peers with minimal language support or guidance. Students have a good command of technical and academic vocabulary as well of idiomatic expressions and colloquialisms. They can produce clear, smoothly flowing, well-structured texts of differing lengths and degrees of linguistic complexity. Errors are minimal, difficult to spot, and generally corrected when they occur.


Appendix: Complimentary Rap Battle Judging Bulls-eye Pie Language Rubric


Session No. 6: Hip Hop Language Video & Song/Story Scripting -- Its a New World
Overview: This is a mini project that can also become an option as one of the culminating projects for the Unit, and is an example of new literacy producing language through media technology. Building language slide shows using Movie Maker or iMovie projects for learners integrate multimodal approaches to language learning, including the use of instrumental audio tracks as the rhythmic metered background for poetic or Hip Hop language and lyrics. The purpose of this lesson is to have learners producing written language, and then framing it within a song script or blueprint, analyzing, deconstructing, and restructuring language within the script, then using that script to form a video slideshow. Materials: Song script template (and a blank template is also offered on pg. 27), Movie Maker and/or iMovie Software, Song lyrics, Specific Language Breakdown, and audio speakers and a project for computer Language elements targeted elements may vary if focusing on solid grammar elements, however, the primary poetic/Hip Hop elements can be: (rhyme schemes (end and/or slant rhyme), internal rhyme, syntax, passive/active voice, transliteration, figurative language, syncopation, parable, incredulous, hyperbole, personification, remixing). NOTE This lesson and YouTube Video here: is designed for an
advanced language level. Refer to the lesson extension at the end of this lesson to find primers for middle to lower level language learners.

They involve the following learning foci: 1. The use of visual and auditory semiotics in language 2. The use of visual texts on screen 3. The use of audio instrumental music for rhythm accompaniment 4. Focus on Song building Procedure: 1. Show the Language Video to learners 1. Discuss its elements and how they can form them


2. Set parameters for time, use of words, imagery, and target language focus in the video final production a. Examples include: i. Only 6 images provided by the teacher ii. Target language that fits the lesson specifically iii. Video and imagery that requires the learner to justify its symbolism and relevancy 3. Provide the script board (see sample script.pdf) to the learners and explain how their timing of slides, choice of imagery, and timing with their lyrics, can all work best with synchronization. Be politely vigilant of pacing during this stage in the process. a. Model and walk them through these stages in the process upholding your expectations b. Technological note: have them using the slide show option for a more visually cued approach on the Movie Maker/iMovie software 4. Show learners how to insert slides with texts on them for placing words on the screen by first forming the slides on PowerPoint (as pictures .jpg), and uploading them into the movie/slide show making software. 5. Review their scripts with the learners individually as they form their words to the visual slides, and also provide a short checklist for them (i.e.): a. Timing of words with punctuation, that compliments images b. Volume and clarity of voice c. Punctuation use on the screen and in the script d. Proper instrumentals, sound levels, and clarity of imagery 6. Let the learners create their own song/story script before, or concurrently with using images, especially if they are more apt to build language from images at certain levels or for individual needs. 7. Constantly check for any bugs or glitches in their video production process.


8. Collect their song lyrics and scripts for educator evaluation, and have learners display them for their peers.

Lesson Extension
Here is where you will find more Specific Language Deconstruction of the phrase Its a New World. This section is focused more on grammatical and lexical features. 1. As noted earlier at the beginning of the first lesson, the previous video and language scripted is designed for an advanced language levels. 2. Educators can also discuss and use various synonyms for the phrase its a new for different meanings using internal, slant, and end rhymes and have students focus on particular parts of speech to build a corpus for teaching. 3. As well as provide the following for a discussion on (Metalanguage Version), which can be deconstructed in the following sequence of the lyrics of the song.

Specific Language Deconstruction

Sentence level Its a New World is an adjective phrase. It only becomes an it cleft sentence, if that follows the focused element of the sentence [new world] (Cowan, pp. 521, 523). Example; its a New World that we all want to change for the better. Word level Its = is a (contraction) of it and is, A = is an (indefinite article), New = is an (adjective), World = is a (singular noun). Transliteration: is the transfer (not exact translation) involved in language play that, although not grammatically correct, is common and useful in poetic and Hip Hop language.


By transliteration, we can merge A (indefinite article) and New (adjective), to form the word anew (Anew). Anew = standing alone as a word functions as an (adverb). Some adjectives have identical adverb forms (Cowan, pp. 248-249). Using the previous transliteration of a new into anew, we can use this as an adverb in the phrase: Its anew world =which can be used as a adverbial phrase describing the non-count singular noun world as new, with the same meaning as (Its a new world). (Its anew world). Making new meaning from Punctuation Its anew, world = anew becomes an adverb modifying the clause, when installing punctuation of the comma. All together in this entire phrase, the adverb anew functions as an adverbial adjunct, commenting on the entire sentence, (Cowan, p. 257). Adverbs can also modify clauses. Compare these first two sentences: a. Its anew, world. b. Its a world, anew. c. Anew, Its a world* In sentence (a), anew is a time adverbial, describing (it) as the existential focus element pertaining to anything, yet stating this to the world. In sentence (b), anew is a time adverbial. It describes the world as new, or anew. *In sentence (c), Anew as the adverb adjunct in terms of the position of the adverb, but it creates a phrase that is marginal or ungrammatical to the extent that arguably it would not sound prolific in neither standard, nor poetic, or Hip Hop language.


Some Literacy devices within the transliteration Homophone: Comparatively speaking, a new and anew are homophonessame sounds with different spellings and meanings. They are also synonyms. Vocabulary: Anew = as an adverb alone means: (one more, an additional, a different, a further, an extra, an added, any more, or an alternative), and such definitions can offer more vocabulary and mnemonic devices at the sentence or paragraph level of context in forming standard or poetic language. Syntactical change Its anew = as an adjective phrase, have extended synonymous definitions: (it is one more, it is an additional, it is a different, it is a further, it is an extra, it is an added, it is any more, or it is an alternative). Thus, by using it as an infinitive clause it can change its syntactical use at the sentence or paragraph level, depending on the context of words around it. Idiomatic expression in transliteration a. (Anew world). A. Anew = coupled together with world forms a phrase with anew as the predicative-only adjective of time with the prefix a, describing world (Cowan, p. 244), b. (World anew). B. World anew = anew coupled after the noun world, and at the end of the phrase, can function as either a descriptive adjective, or an adverb of the singular non-count noun world. Metaphor Forming a metaphor, we can form an it cleft sentence, when the word that is placed within the sentence following a focused element: Ex: (Its anew world, that language is living in).


THUS. Its anew, world = Forms a new adjective phrase addressing (not exactly describing), the world as a non-count (singular) noun. This use of the comma can personify world into the idiomatic expression if we equate world with the personification of all people. Example, This language rap you hear, Its anew, world (all people). (Its anew, world). Its a world anew = changing the placement of the adverb anew can also appear at the end of or within sentences (Cowan, p. 257). This phrase has the same connotative meaning as the adjective phrase, its a new world. (Its a world anew). Summing it all up: Comparing all of these phrases can be useful in analyzing metalanguage, and to elicit word and sentence level - elements of language. a. Its anew, world. b. Its a new world. c. Its a world anew. b. Its a world, anew. c. Anew, Its a world* Comparing and analyzing these phrases can build the groundwork for language play. They also help to construct and deconstruct language with or without rhymes using their various syntactical and contextual definitions. Transliteration of their word, sentence, and paragraph level contexts all help to highlight syntax, (among other chosen language elements), depending on how they are used at each level in building and playing with the language.


Its a new world Advanced level (Lyrics) Its a new world but not a new world order With advanced language started, you put the world on a platter Work smarter not harder, whether matre d or martyr Mix it up and make change for the better - or the barter Charter your life path with some lingo as the life raft Not titanic to sink into the ink with some write craft If ya need to come right back then the world can be like that Move your mind through the air like some jazz and a high hat -- 8 Its anew with every fresh idea - the language mesh right here With every sentence you caress and stress accents clear Lee add verbs to the adverbs speak, listen, and read Cause you truly gotta move me 12 With new beats and media, maybe use encyclopedia A new way of seeing it is for you to alleviate Your voice with your identity whatever your affinity Your divinity cause over here yo - we dont discriminate 16 Thats criminal like smooth ways in subliminal of school days These are new days of Hip Hop to make anew phrase This-is coming -out -of -Chops -shop -protected like the Club lock Hold the keys to our soul in our voices and our music rocked 20 Chorus: Its a new way to express through words its a new. way to break the learning curve


its a new. world to surpass the dirty curbs Word thats old school like me this aint the hyphy Dont let your mind get warped into a zone thats just a pipe dream Swoosh past the bullys alone or stand up fighting Use your words carefully and you win without fight scene 4 Respect the intellect and the family whos extended Their hands and the community who cares without pretending Build the foundations like a circle of friends you choose With every thought you amuse that becomes you! There always new beginnings new learning and new visuals Whenever youre authentic you can bring in raw materials Be genuine and always try to sing til youre delirious Enjoy your sense of humor but ya gotta know when to be serious Im not preaching , not just a teacher, but a seeker For a new way to (reach the) (literacy features) Fluency for inner fire language to your hearts desire So let your poetic words come forth to transpire


Script Template: Use this blank template to plan your media piece.
Project Title:
Time Video/Image Lyrics / Poetry / Audio / Dialogue

This resource is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. To find all of the documents in KQEDs Media-Making for Science Education Toolkit, please visit


Cowan, Ron. (2008). The Teachers Grammar of English: A Course and Reference Guide. Cambridge University Press. KQED. Media Making for Science Education Toolkit. Retrieved from: Noguera, P. A. (2007). Renewing and reinventing Freire: A source of inspiration in innercity youth education. Retrieved on November 7, 2012 from Pollack, Stanley., & Fusoni, Mary. (2005). Moving Beyond Icebreakers. An innovative Approach to Group Facilitation, Learning, and Action. The Center for Teen Empowerment, Inc. Quality Books; Boston, MA. Universal Zulu Nation & KRS-One. (2010). Hip Hop Declaration of Peace.


About the Author: Alex is part of generation of practitioners within Hip Hop culture, an educator by trade, and a bridge builder between language and community. He served as an official intergroup dialogue facilitator and student leader and representative at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas for the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. He was a graduate assistant for Federal TRIO GEAR UP after school Programs where he was televised for his lessons with Clark County School district. He currently works with the Sonoma County school district in various subjects in grade levels seven to twelve. His academic interests are varied; they include transformational leadership, modern American ethnographic and cultural studies, ethnic literature, critical theory/pedagogy, and teaching ESL and English within urban Hip Hop and popular culture. A National Honors Society recipient, Alex has created publications including a student-based collective press for alternative media and his scholarly work on Phinney's Identity Model was presented at the National Association for Student Personnel Administrator's (NASPA) conference on student development theory (March 2009). His M.Ed. master's thesis, entitled "Decisive Retention Models for Transitioning Minority Students" was well received and discussed in the local University of Nevada communities. Alex has worked in post-secondary institutions, where he developed and implemented diversity training in social justice using critical and Freirian pedagogy, as well as workshops and programs to improve test-taking, critical thinking, and success skills for non-traditional students. Alex has worked in the private for-profit sector where he formed and implemented curriculum for workforce readiness and professional development for low income, foster youth, and highrisk urban populations. He has also worked in the public non-profit sector where he formed curriculum for leadership development for teenaged Latina/o students, where he remains an active consultant for the Hispanic and Latin Chamber of Commerces educational programs. He has formed, facilitated, and taught at many workshops for student retention and college success, and for the past three years, has revised curriculum and facilitated for workshops on gender equality, diversity in religion, Hip Hop for positive development, and masculinity for the Las Vegas interfaith council's leadership council. He recently earned his M.A. in T.eaching E.nglish to S.peakers of O.ther L.anguages at Sonoma State University, in Rohnert Park, California. He is a Multiple District Substitute Teacher and classified employee of the Sonoma County Office of Education. Mr. Templeton is currently an advisor for Santa Rosa Junior Colleges S.P.I.R.I.T. club, and seeks to continue performing, grant writing, and teaching locally. He is from Roseland, California. Alexander S. Templeton, M.Ed., M.A. (707) 235-4169