Make your own free website on

Poetry in Popular Music


Submitted by: Gillian Wallsten   

To get the class to realize that poetry is something that they use everyday I started off the Poetry Unit with a musical section.  The students were to select any song that they enjoyed listening to and they were to  present it in class.  My stipulation was that I was the censor.  No song could be presented unless I had seen it, listened to it and given the go ahead.

Once they had their song, they were to either write it out by hand or to do it on the computer.  No photocopies of the original  CD were to be used in any form (that included a scanned copy).  This was then to be given to me. I put it on an overhead that they would use during their presentation.

They completed the information sheet.  This sheet would help them organize themselves for the presentation.  This sheet had to be passed in to me along with the copy of the words to the song.

The presentation was to consist of the following:

        -  the music itself to be played  (CD or tape)

        -  the words on overhead,

        -  an explanation of what they felt the song was about, what was it that interested them in the song  -any other interesting points in regard to their choice,

        -  there was than an question and answer time.


The worksheet was as follows:




Complete the following assignment and be prepared to use it in your presentation.


Name of Group  ___________________________________________

Name of Song  ___________________________________________

Name of Album  ___________________________________________

Label of Album  ___________________________________________

Length of Song  ___________________________________________

What do you think is the meaning behind the song  (if there is one)?


Does it have a meaning for you?



Which do you prefer  -  the melody or the words?



When you introduce this song to the class you must include the information you have listed above.  Your presentation will also be graded on the following :


Shows evidence preparation/practice

(did not read report, minimal use of notes)

Audible and understandable

Maintained eye contact

Able to answer questions about subject

Creativity or uniqueness



How this went in the class:

        -  I started of with having the students listening to one of my choices and I modeled how I expected their presentations to be,

        -  I then told them that I took pity on them and had my daughter select a couple of songs for them and talked about how she described them,

        -  I had one song out of 29 that I rejected  -  not bad,

        -  one student had selected a song that dealt with suicide because of despair and how that would effect the friends of the the singer,

        -  the next few songs dealt with how people were there to help each other,

        -  this made for a great discussion  with students looking at other songs they listened to

        -  I certainly will use this approach next year.