VOICE YOUR SOUL
MeMA’s partnership role is to support the teacher’s success in delivering high-quality arts-integrated programs that provide equitable educational opportunities for students. Our program is not meant to replace traditional curricula, but to supplement and enrich classroom lessons and allow students to make meaningful connections between subject areas in creative and engaging ways.
Our main unit, “Voice Your Soul” is custom-designed to fit each school’s needs and to meet State and Common Core standards. MeMA works together with teachers to establish clear instructional goals and outcomes. Our residency consists of 24 sessions, plus a culminating event—a showcase of student-created social justice projects—typically presented in the school auditorium for classmates, teachers, parents, and sometimes the community. In addition, visiting professional teaching artists mentor students with their final projects.
Our unit includes the following resources: Lesson activities and projects, rubrics, graphic organizers and assessments, videos, mp3 songs, song lyrics, additional primary/secondary sources such as historical speeches, news clips, charts/graphs, social media posts, and current event information, and lavalier mics for projects. All we need is a classroom!
Phase One-Direct Instruction
In part one of our two-phase curriculum we use political and social protest music from the past to the present to teach students how to analyze music and videos as a means of communication—delivering a strong message—from artists to their audiences. They examine how music has long been a platform for social movements, resistance, social commentary, and change, particularly during the 1960s- a decade that changed a nation, and the 1970s.
Phase Two-Research and Projects
In the second part of the unit, students will apply what they have learned about social justice issues and protests of the past and present, and create a social justice project in groups or individually. The culminating project will challenge students to integrate what they know and can do in language arts, social studies, technology, and civics to voice their own position on an issue of their choice, support their position with research-based evidence, and present it in a compelling way. Rigorous standards-based expectations will apply to all projects, while students will also have the freedom to develop a format that draws on their own interests, strengths, and experiences.
Culminating Social Justice Projects and Showcase
Students create their culminating social justice project using various forms of media such as technology, film, visual art, creative writing—songs, rap, poetry, stories—dramatic skits, and more. The projects are presented en masse as a student showcase in the school auditorium, giving students a chance to feel proud of their accomplishments. Reflections and self-assessment of the effectiveness of their project will increase students’ self-awareness of their strengths and areas of growth within the integrated content areas in the unit.