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American Passages: A Literary SurveyUnit IndexAmerican Passages Home
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3. Utopian Promise   



7. Slavery and
Freedom


•  Unit Overview
•  Using the Video
•  Authors
•  Timeline
•  Activities
- Overview Questions
- Video
Activities
- Author
Activities
- Context
Activities
- Creative Response
- PBL Projects

Activities: Author Activities


Sorrow Songs - Teaching Tips

Back Back to Sorrow Songs Activities
  • Use the sound files in the archive to play a recorded version of at least one of the songs included in this unit so students can have an aural experience of the music. If you have a strong voice or musical accompaniment, you might consider leading your class in a spiritual. Encourage students to improvise if they are moved to do so. The experience of participating in a performance should help students understand the important role of audience and communal authorship in the development of this musical tradition.

  • Students may be resistant to the idea that songs and oral traditions should be studied in a literature class. Engage them in the question of what constitutes literature and what appropriate objects of study in a literature class might be. How are these songs different from more "formal" poetry? (You might distribute a copy of a more traditional poem such as a sonnet so that the contrast will be clearer.) Does it matter that the songs are constantly changing? How does our understanding of the songs change when we study them in a literature classroom rather than in a music classroom?




Slideshow Tool
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Archive
An online collection of 3000 artifacts for classroom use. Go

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Download the Instructor Guide PDF for this Unit. Go

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