“Voice Your Soul” Unit

“Voice your Soul” provides standards-aligned, arts-infused, technology-driven lessons, activities, and project-based learning for students in middle and high school. Our 8-week residency teaches students about the vibrant history and culture of the turbulent and transformative 1960s and 1970s—The Decade That Shaped a Generation—documented through the lyrics of legendary songwriters and poets who transformed their frustration, anger, and hope into popular music.

Using songs of the era, and related video clips as primary sources, students explore music’s influence on encouraging political and social change—race and the struggle for equality; cultural, and economic social systems; moral values and civic engagement. Students use critical literacy skills to better understand sociopolitical protests throughout history and make comparisons to our world today. 

Culminating social-justice-themed projects round out the unit. In groups or individually, students conduct research on an issue of their choice, which in the past has included topics such as bullying, racism, gun control, LGBTQ, suicide, physical/sexual abuse, feminism, political polarization, and much more. Various media—multimedia, songwriting/poetry/rap, skits, visual art— is used to create and perform work that expresses their own ideas. Projects are presented en masse as a student showcase in the school auditorium, giving students a chance to feel proud of their work.