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Justin Busch

A Long Way Gone Unit


4/13/2018

Importance of Music Lesson Plan


Materials

 A Long Way Gone


 A Long Way Gone PowerPoint
 Lyrics to “I Need Love”

Standards

RL.9–10.2

Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of the
text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective
summary of the text.

RL.9–10.6

Analyze a particular point of view (perspective) or cultural experience reflected in a work of literature
from outside the United States, drawing on a wide reading of world literature.

Agenda

 Class Discussion / Review (4 minutes)

 Ask the following questions one by one to the students. These should be fairly brief.
Music has already been discussed multiple times. The goal here is to refresh their
memory about the topic.

 When has music come up in our previous discussions and early on in the book?
 When does music come up in the chapters you read for yesterday?
 Is music important to Ishmael?
 What kind of music does he like?

 Analysis of passage on p. 67 (5-7 minutes)

 Read the passage below out loud to the class and ask the following questions. The goal
here is to get some practice analyzing literature. The answers to the questions and this
discussion should lead the students to understand that his circumstances are changing
him as a person. He is losing his innocent self from his childhood.

 “I rewound the tape, mimed, and danced to “OPP” barefoot in the sand. I didn’t
enjoy it, and for the first time I found myself thinking about the words of the
song closely listening to the subtle instruments in the beat. I had never done
such a thing before, because I knew the words by heart and felt the beat. I
didn’t feel it this time. As I hopped up and down, hunched and raising my arms
and feet to the music, I thought about being thrown in the ocean, about how
difficult it would be to know that death was inevitable” (67).

 Why do you think he didn’t enjoy it this time?


 Why do you think his experience listening to it was different this time?
 Why does Ishmael think about being thrown in the ocean? Explain.
 When are some other times that Ishmael talks about the ocean/nature?

 “I Need Love” Activity (20-30 minutes)

 Listen to the song “I Need Love” by LL Cool J (skip third verse).

 After listening to the song, ask why they think this is the song that Beah mentions
(besides the fact that this a song he actually danced to) and why it is significant to him.
What about this song stuck in Beah’s memory? What specific examples from the book
help explain why this song is meaningful to him? Have them explain their thoughts in a
short paragraph written on the loose-leaf sheet of paper given to them.

 Now examine the lyrics to the song. Highlight which words, phrases, or lines of the song
you think would be significant to Ishmael.

 Underline the words, phrases, or lines of the song that could be significant to yourself
and your own life.

 Have students write a paragraph explaining why the song is significant to them. The
following are questions that could be said that could provoke thought from the
students:

 Does this song remind you of a person?


 Does this song remind you of a specific place or a time during your life?
 Do the lyrics have special meaning to you?
 Does the song motivate you? Console you? Pump you up?
 Is the song attached to a particular memory? Is this memory good, bad, or
significant in any other way?
 What kind of emotions does this song evoke in you? How does it make you feel?
 Highlight the words, phrases, or lines of the song that could be significant to yourself.

 Now examine the lyrics to the song. Underline which words, phrases, or lines of the
song you think would be significant to Ishmael.

 Have students write a third paragraph about the similarities that they found between
Ishmael’s connection to music and their own. Some questions could be:

 Were there any parts of the songs that you felt were significant to both you and
Ishmael?
 Why were some important to you and not him?
 Why were some important to him and not you?

 Writing a poem (10-15 minutes)

 Choose either to write it about Ishmael’s relationship to “I Need Love”, about your
relationship to the song that you chose, or combine the two.
 All of the words, phrases, and lines of the song that were chosen are a great start and
the paragraphs that were written will help too. Rewrite those words phrases, and lines
and add some of reasoning for why you or Ishmael chose the song to make your own
poem.

 Remind them that poetry comes in many shapes and sizes, so they shouldn’t get
frustrated.

Assessments

RL.9–10.2

Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of the
text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective
summary of the text.

 Class discussion / Passage Analysis – both of these will be formative assessments to gauge
whether or not students are developing their understanding of how Ishmael relates and sees
value in music as well as how he is changing over the course of the book as a person.

RL.9–10.6

Analyze a particular point of view (perspective) or cultural experience reflected in a work of literature
from outside the United States, drawing on a wide reading of world literature.

 “I Need Love” Activity / Poem writing – both of these assessments will let me know how deep of
an understanding the students have about the culture in Sierra Leone at the time and how it
affects the people within that culture. Specifically how the circumstances that Ishmael is in are
causing him to find means of expression through music.

Homework

 Lit Circle Role Sheet 3 due tomorrow

 Finish any aspects of the music activity that were not completed during class