Relevant discussion questions and hands on activities

The discussion questions are much more open ended to allow and compel the students to articulate their feelings and knowledge about arts, creativity, culture, social norms, etc. These questions provide an opportunity for the teacher to individualize the learning and instruction by allowing the students to choose which questions they want to address. Students can work individually or in a group composed of others who share their interests. Teachers can balance the assignments based on interest as well as specific standards that specific students need to master.


1. (Standards ELA 5,6; CC 7) Using the model set forth by Marsalis, create a dialogue between yourself and a professional such as a teacher, firefighter, police officer, nurse, doctor, salesperson, etc., in which you express the concept of swing using terms and dynamics of that profession.

2. (Standards RI 7; CC 7) Discuss some music/songs that you would identify as the blues. What characteristics of the blues do these songs have? How do you respond emotionally and intellectually to these songs?

3. (Standards RI: 1, 2, 5, 6 ; ELA: 4, 5, 8 ; CC: 2, 6, 9) Choose some music selections from your parents’ or grandparents’ age After listening to the selections, discuss how your music differs from theirs. Compare to current music. Which music presents an air of optimism? What do the words indicate about the values of the culture?