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New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association (NJPSA) Arts Integration Planning Tool

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Music +1 Age Level High School (16 to 18 years old)

Using a sample lesson "The Blues and The Great Depression" provided by the New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association (NJPSA) as a model, this collection demonstrates how the Smithsonian Learning Lab can be a useful tool to curate digital resources that support a lesson for arts integration.

In this lesson, students will learn about the structure and content of the blues using songs from the 1930s and the Great Depression.Students will brainstorm circumstances of the Great Depression and use those ideas to create an original blues song from the point of view of someone living during the Great Depression.

Essential questions: 

● How does blues music reflect the challenges of poverty for the African-American experience during the Great Depression?
● How do images and songs reflect the emotions of the African-American experience during the Great Depression?


The original lesson was created by the New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association (NJPSA) and included in their Arts Integration User Guide for NJ Educators and Practitioners, starting on p. 90 (http://njpsa.org/documents/EdLdrsAsSchol2018/artsintegrationWorkbook2018.pdf).