Power of Raps and Hip-Hop in the Classroom | Adopting Hip-Hop in the Class

Who doesn’t like music! But, particularly hip hop is a genre that has some kind of power and vision of a rapper or creator. Similarly, providing opportunities for students to open up in creative ways is fun as well as a brilliant idea. This idea is being adopted by many brilliant teachers out there to teach lessons, poetries, essays, etc. 

Many experts have lately shared their views regarding the placement of hip hop in the classroom and learning ways. One of them is in the article Edutopia which will enlighten the concept further with the interviews and speeches like- 

Journalist Marva Hinton digs into the unique ways educators are utilizing hip-hop to increase learning and engagement in her article “Hip-Hop EDU: Use Music To Spark Students’ Creativity and Learning” in School Library Journal.

Teaching students, they have seen before

According to author and educator Carole Boston Weatherford, hip-hop music is “the language of global youth culture” and has grown in popularity over the previous few decades, with a current surge fueled by the success of the musical Hamilton.

Andy Spinks, a library media specialist at Campbell High School in Smyrna, Georgia, developed a popular recording studio in the library for students to produce music, learn about digital recording, and, most importantly, cooperate, according to Hinton. “They’re drawn to it because they have things they want to say, and they’re given a lot of freedom to express them,” Spinks adds.

Hip-Hop based poetry

When teachers start to think about hip-hop as poetry, it opens many possibilities for writing instruction: Students who are less interested in traditional writing may find rap composition to be engaging. 

Jarrett Modica, a sophomore at Spinks, for example, discovered his voice while composing and creating lyrics in the studio. Modica explained, “It’s a space where you can simply be yourself.”

Because some hip-hop songs contain profanity, violence, or graphic language, some schools are hesitant to employ it. Set expectations and bounds for lyrics, according to Spinks. He advises pupils to refrain from using songs that promote bullying and to refrain from using lyrics that are disparaging of another member of the school community. “If you want to make a diss track about Drake, go ahead,” Spinks remarked, “but don’t make one about someone from this school.” Give parents early warning of content that may be contentious, as well as an explanation of how and why it will be utilized.

Power of music

Kristine Cannon, a librarian at West Boca Raton High School, has created a reading curriculum based on the book Let Me Hear a Rhyme; the program is for kids who have failed the state’s standardized English examinations. Cannon told Hinton, “We simply felt the aspect of the music, the hip-hop, and even the historical period would captivate the students.” “We figured that would give us a lot to talk about with them.”

Hinton adds that while it is a topic that students are interested in, it can also be utilized as the subject matter for less exciting lectures. Libby Gorman, a library media specialist at Edgewood Middle School in Maryland, teaches citation using hip-hop examples, a topic she admits is mainly “boring.” 

Gorman engages pupils by using songs like Will Smith’s “Friend Like Me” and Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road.” “The rule was that they had to cite it before they could play it,” Gorman explained, “but once they cited it, they could play the music.”

Hip-Hop literacy 

Hip-hop may be fully integrated into the curriculum. Hip-hop serves as a culturally responsive basis for cross-curricular courses that include creative writing, reading, and even arithmetic, according to librarian Joquetta Johnson. “Students had to answer a scenario-based arithmetic problem regarding Kendrick Lamar” in one class. They discovered trends in his Twitter stream and calculated his fan base’s growth. Johnson also teaches pupils about digital citizenship, copyright, and intellectual property through hip-hop.

Carter Martin

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