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This inventive resource brings music into the classroom and encourages learners to use creativity in exploring the connections between gender inequality, poverty and sustainable communities. The power of music as a vehicle for social change is a central theme of this series of interdisciplinary lessons in which students will:
This resource can be used to address social studies outcomes that explore cultural diversity and the connections between gender inequality and poverty. Citizenship skills are also strengthened through meaningful real-world experiences that promote advocacy.
The lessons can be used in the music classroom to identify connections between society and the arts. Rhythmic concepts are also practiced and students are able to listen and respond to a variety of music forms.
The materials include a teacher’s guide to organizing an “Oxjam Concert” as a student-led action project to raise awareness of human rights issues in West Africa. The concert could become the basis of a school wide fundraising campaign to support efforts to aid a community in another country. Students could collect funds for infrastructure such as a well or to buy livestock and seed. Handwritten letters could be exchanged so that the Canadian students learn how their efforts have helped the sustainability of the community.
The following tool will allow you to explore the relevant curriculum matches for this resource. To start, select a province listed below.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives||Good|
This learning unit focuses on an important human rights issue that is currently receiving International attention. Lack of education limits choice which sustains poverty and in many countries the most severe impacts have been on young girls. However, it is important that students understand that access to education is often not gender specific, particularly in regions where practices like using child labour still occur.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives: |
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions||Very Good|
Learners gain a deeper understanding of the difficult economic choices facing families in the poorest communities of West Africa where the immediate benefits of sending daughters to work outweigh the long term advantages of education. Students will also recognize the important role of empowerment in breaking the chains of abject poverty and oppression.
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions: |
Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.
Students learn that lack of education is only one facet of a cultural approach in which girls are consistently devalued through practices such as forced marriage or being kept home to care for younger siblings.
|Respects Complexity: |
The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.
|Acting on Learning||Good|
Information is provided about organizing a school “Oxjam Concert” as an action project that builds teamwork and citizenship skills. The concert goal is to help support Oxfam’s community capacity building efforts in areas like West Africa.
|Acting on Learning: |
Learning moves from understanding issues to working towards positive change — in personal lifestyle, in school, in the community, or for the planet
Students are able to identify their thoughts and feelings about the challenges faced by young girls in West African communities and express opinions through music and creative writing.
|Values Education: |
Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.
|Empathy & Respect for Humans||Good|
Using music to explore the cultural mosaic of West Africa fosters an authentic connection to the children portrayed in the lessons. Students will gain a much deeper understanding of the importance of personal expression in creating change within regions where human rights violations still occur.
|Empathy & Respect for Humans: Empathy and respect are fostered for diverse groups of humans (including different genders, ethnic groups, sexual preferences, etc.).|
|Personal Affinity with Earth||Poor/Not considered|
These lessons have been developed from a social context and primarily focus on the culture of West Africa. However, students may be curious about some of the natural features shown in the PowerPoint slides which could lead to discussions about the region’s ecology.
|Personal Affinity with Earth: |
Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.
Many of the West African rhythms and sounds will be familiar to students since they often occur in popular music. The drumming activity could also be enhanced by inviting a First Nations musician to the classroom to demonstrate local indigenous sounds and provide an opportunity to compare and contrast the two music forms.
|Locally-Focused Learning: |
Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community.
|Past, Present & Future||Satisfactory|
The resource presents an important message about empowering youth to elicit change in areas of the World still deeply affected by oppression and poverty. Encouraging students to become active global citizens provides a positive vision for the future.
|Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.|
|Open-Ended Instruction||Very Good|
The instructional approach uses self-expression as the basis for learning, thus encouraging peer dialogue and a critical examination of the content.
Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.
This resource effectively links Social Studies and Arts outcomes to ensure students understand how music can be a powerful and universal communication tool.
|Integrated Learning: |
Learning brings together content and skills from more than one subject area
The strategy that involves students in investigating human rights issues and proposing solutions while integrating subjects across the curriculum supports active learning.
|Inquiry Learning: |
Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.
Some individual lessons offer options for differentiation but no formal strategies are identified. The music content enlivens the activities through dynamic participation which should appeal to many learners.
|Differentiated Instruction: |
Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.
The authentic West African music provides a sound experience that makes the content more meaningful and relevant. A teacher could also enhance experiential learning by inviting a local multicultural association into the classroom to teach other aspects of African culture such as dance.
|Experiential Learning: |
Authentic learning experiences are provided
|Cooperative Learning||Poor/Not considered|
Lessons are generally done as a whole class or small group activity. However, if a teacher chooses to complete the action project then students will learn many teamwork and cooperation skills.
|Cooperative Learning: |
Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.
|Assessment & Evaluation||Poor/Not considered|
There are no defined assessment strategies but worksheets and guided questioning do support formative assessment.
|Assessment & Evaluation: Tools are provided that help students and teachers to capture formative and summative information about students' learning and performance. These tools may include reflection questions, checklists, rubrics, etc.|
In the final lesson students present their creative writing piece which expresses their opinions about the right to freedoms such as education.
|Peer Teaching: |
Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.
Using young children in the lessons makes the content more relevant to Canadian students of similar ages. Each of the girls portrayed has an important personal message that will resonate with a class. A teacher could also ask students to discuss their own feelings about education after learning about youth who would welcome this daily routine which so many take for granted.
|Case Studies: |
Relevant case studies are included. Case studies are thorough descriptions of real events from real situations that students use to explore concepts in an authentic context.
|Locus of Control||Good|
Students are able to express themselves creatively and respond critically to music and lyrics from West African artists.
|Locus of Control: Meaningful opportunities are provided for students to choose elements of program content, the medium in which they wish to work, and/or to go deeper into a chosen issue.|