In the Classroom

I played two songs for my students this morning. One was Deja Vu written by John Fogerty and the other was Wake me up When September Ends by Green Day. I thought there were common themes in these two pieces of writing and that the melodies were rich, emoting ‘stuff’ that the students could think about, given the circumstances in Iraq.

Just recently they have been considering Ray Bradbury’s short story, All Summer in a Day…and there are also some parallels there; with the seven years of rain….and issues of isolation, sadness and abandonment. The image of the sun gives us some insight about hope and its potential in very dark moments.

After listening, I distributed both sets of lyrics and led some rich discussion about ‘seeing the writing on the wall’. I felt pleased that the people sitting in front of me were going to take some learning with them.

As a follow-up, they will first write a comparison of the two songs and their themes and then go on to discuss which song they prefer and why it is preferred.

Finally, they will find a pathway into the lyrics and write their own narrative based on thoughts that surface as a result of considering the writing of these two powerful songs. I was excited when one of the boys came to ask me if he could write from a voice in the song Vietnam by Creedance Clearwater Revival. Good! I told him that I was especially pleased that he had extended the suggested activity as it will mean more to him this way.

It was a very rewarding day in the classroom.

This writing has provided me a brief shift in posture and in focus. Now I must return to the studio where work is really pushing forward. I hope that the energy can be sustained.

Image borrowed from the Kevin Webb 22 website.

2 thoughts on “In the Classroom

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