Jazz, Rock, and Hip-Hop: The Intertwining of Modern American History and Popular Culture

Zach Sanford, Exceptional Children, W.A. Hough High

Curriculum Unit (pdf)


This unit is designed to teach students with Intellectual Disabilities U.S. History from the 1950s to the present.  The students will read adapted text to learn about the major events of the period and compare the adapted timelines to more comprehensive timelines on different websites.  The students will also use adapted text to explore the legislative process and different laws from the different years.  Each lesson will employ the use of music and images to highlight the popular forms of musical expression.  Lesson 1 will cover the 1950s and the 1960s and jazz music.  Lesson 2 will cover the 1970s and the 1980s and rock music.  Lesson 3 will cover the 1990s to the present and hip-hop.  The students will compare the timelines of the development of the musical styles to the timelines of major historical events.  The students will learn about different musicians and will research information about the musicians and their songs.  The students will receive a picture from the years covered and will find music and a historical event related to the picture.  Finally, the students will complete the assessments in the adapted textbook.