In this lesson, students will explore the contributions of Oklahoma's jazz musicians through the analysis of music, images, and text. Students will summarize their understanding by creating Six-Word Memoirs for influential jazz musicians including the Blue Devils, Jimmy Rushing, and Charlie Christian. To extend their learning, students will consider how the contributions of Oklahoma's jazz artists are commemorated and remembered today.
How did Oklahoma jazz musicians influence the evolution of jazz music? Why and how do we honor the contributions of people from the past?
Students participate in a Fiction and the Facts activity to examine and analyze their prior knowledge about jazz music.
Students analyze songs and images, recording their observations and inferences to complete a Painting a Picture Chart.
Students read and Why-Light an article about the cultivation of jazz music in Oklahoma and complete Six-Word Memoirs for important Oklahoma jazz musicians.
Students examine the history of Bricktown murals found on the walls of the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City.
Students discuss why and how we commemorate the contributions of Oklahoma’s jazz musicians. Additionally, the Painting a Picture Chart and the Six-Word Memoirs serve as an evaluation for this lesson.
Lesson Slides (attached)
Painting a Picture Chart (attached, one per student)
Painting a Picture Chart-Teacher Notes (attached)
Six-Word Memoir handout (attached, one per student)
The History of Bricktown Mural (attached, one per group)
Deep Deuce and the Cultivation of Jazz in Oklahoma (attached, one per student)
Deep Deuce and the Cultivation of Jazz in Oklahoma-Teacher Notes (attached)
Computers (or other devices that provide internet access)
Portable speakers (optional)
Begin this lesson by dividing students into small groups of 3-4.
Using Lesson Slides, show slide 3. Explain to students that they are going to participate in an activity called Fiction and the Facts. Have them consider the three statements listed on the slide:
Even though jazz is rooted in both the musical traditions of West Africa and Europe, it is considered an American art form.
Jazz music was originally developed by Black musicians across the American South.
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, is considered the birthplace of jazz music.
Two of the statements are true and one of the statements is false. Ask students to discuss with their groups which statements they believe to be true or false and why.
Once students have determined which statement is false, call on several groups to share out with the whole class, asking them to justify why that statement is false and why they believe the other statements to be true.
Show slide 4. Conclude the discussion by noting that throughout this lesson students will continue to learn about the contributions of Oklahoma's jazz musicians by exploring these essential questions:
How did Oklahoma's jazz musicians contribute to the evolution of jazz music?
Why and how do you we honor the contributions of people of the past?
Show slide 5. Review the lesson objectives.
Show slide 6. Distribute the attached Painting a Picture Chart handout to each student. Explain to students that the Painting a Picture strategy is about using observations of what they see and hear together with any background or prior knowledge they have to make inference about the content being explores. In other words, students will use multiple resources to figuratively paint a picture of the topic being studied. In this case, students will use the observations they make in response to songs and photos to "paint a picture" of the significance of Oklahoma's jazz musicians.
As students listen to the following songs they should think about what they hear and what they see and record their observations in the chart.
To begin this activity, display slide 7, showing the “Blue Devil Blues” video.
If students are still recording observations at the 2:15 marker, let the song continue to play until the end or stop it when you think students have finished making their observations.
When students have finished recording their observations, give students about a minute to discuss their observations with their small groups, adding any additional information gleaned from the small group discussion to their charts.
When ready, call on a few volunteers to share their thoughts with the whole class. From here, you can either affirm the types of observations students are making or offer them more guidance and direction.
See the attached Painting a Picture Chart-Teacher's Notes for possible student responses.
Show slide 8.
Have students listen to the “Going to Chicago” video.
Play the first 15 seconds where Jimmy Rushing introduces the song; then skip to the 1:00 mark and play the video through to at least the 2:00 mark.
If students are still recording their observations at the 2:00 marker, continue to play the song, stopping it when students have recorded their observations.
Ask students to record their observations on the Painting a Picture chart.
Give students about a minute to discuss their observations with their small groups, adding any additional information gleaned from the small group discussion to their charts.
When ready, call on a few volunteers to share their thoughts with the whole class.
Show slide 9.
Have students listen to the “Flying Home” video.
Play the video from the beginning through to at least 2:21. Then, repeating the same process as above, give students about a minute to discuss their observations with their small groups adding any additional information gleaned from the small group discussion to their charts.
When ready, call on a few volunteers to share their thoughts with the whole class. See the Painting a Picture Chart-Teacher's Notes for possible student responses.
Show slide 10. Ask students to make inferences based on the observations they recorded. Remind them to record their inferences in the second column in Painting a Picture chart.
Give students about 5-10 minutes to review their observations and work with their groups to record their inferences. You might consider modeling this for your students. For example you could say - an observation I made was, I heard instruments like the saxophone, clarinet and trumpet which are associated with jazz music so I can infer that the Blue Devils are a jazz band. As groups are working, walk around to assess student progress, answer questions, and provide guidance as needed.
Once groups have recorded their inferences, ask each group to share out at least one inference they have made. As students share, add any additional information you think is important to point out. Encourage students to change and add to their charts based on the whole class discussion. See the Painting a Picture Chart with Teacher's Notes for possible student responses.
Show slide 11. Give students about 10 minutes with their small groups to record their observations for each of the three document sets in the packet. Remind students that observations are simply what they see. As groups work, walk around to assess student progress, answer questions, and provide guidance as needed.
Show slide 12. Introduce Document Set 1: Oklahoma City Blue Devils. Once students have completed their observations, ask several to share out their observations about the Oklahoma City Blue Devils images.
Show slide 13. Introduce Document Set 2: Jimmy Rushing. Ask several groups to share their observations about Jimmy Rushing images.
Show slide 14. Introduce Document Set 3: Charlie Christian. Ask several groups to share their observations about the Charlie Christian images.
Be sure each group has a chance to share at some point throughout the process. Refer to Painting a Picture Chart with Teacher's Notes for possible student responses.
Display slide 15. Have students return to their groups to complete the inferences section of their charts. Remind students that an inference is a conclusion based on their observations from the photos.
Bring the whole class back together. Ask each group to share at least one inference they made. As students share, add any additional information you think is important to point out. Encourage students to change and add to their charts based on the whole class discussion.
Show slide 16.
Pass out the article "Deep Deuce and the Cultivation of Jazz in Oklahoma." Explain to students that they will continue to explore how Oklahoma jazz musicians influenced the music scene. Ask students to read the article in their groups and use the Why-Lighting strategy to highlight information that answers the essential—How did Oklahoma musicians contribute to the evolution of jazz music? Have them justify their reasoning for highlighting information by writing their notes in the margins.
After students have finished Why-Lighting the article, call on each group to share at least one thing they highlighted and why. Encourage students to continue to highlight and/or make notes on their articles based on the whole class discussion. Add any other important information to the conversations that students might have missed. See the Deep Deuce and the Cultivation of Jazz in Oklahoma-Teacher’s Notes for possible student responses.
Show slide 17.
Have students, individually, use the information from their charts and from the article to create a Six-Word Memoir for the following: the Blue Devils, Jimmy Rushing, and Charlie Christian. Each memoir should summarize students’ understanding of the significance of the contributions and influence of the Blue Devils, Rushing, and Christian on the development and evolution of jazz music.
Have students record their responses on the attached Six-Word Memoir handout, or have students record them on sticky notes and post them on a white board so they can easily view each other’s work. If students record them on a sticky note, be sure to have them put their names on the sticky note.
Show slide 18. Introduce the History of Bricktown Mural by artist Susan Morrison. Ask students to look at each mural panel and identify familiar words and images. Have them explain their significance based on what they have learned during this lesson. This can be done in small groups and/or as a whole class.
Show slides 19-20, which show panels 1 and 2 in the mural individually. Ask students to identify familiar images in the mural.
Show slide 21. Ask student groups to discuss these questions:
What story does the mural tell?
What is the purpose of the mural?
When students are ready, ask each group to share what their group discussed in response to both of these questions with the whole class.
Show slide 22. Have student groups discuss the final questions:
How do these murals help us, as a collective society, remember our past and honor the legacy of those who have come before us?
Why is it important to do so?
When students are ready, ask several groups to share what their group discussed with the whole class. Conclude the discussion noting that the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark now stands where the original all Black school, Douglass School (shown in panel 2) was located in Oklahoma City and Bricktown sits on the edge of Deep Deuce. These murals honor the community where the ballpark is located by telling the story of Oklahoma’s jazz musicians as well as other significant parts of the area’s history. Monuments like these murals seek to preserve our community’s collective memory by informing generations to come about our past. This helps people understand the contributions of those who have come before and how this has shaped the community we live in and experience today.
Additionally, the Painting a Picture Chart and the Six-Word Memoirs serve as an evaluation for this lesson.
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