Plymouth Rock Band

Revolutionary Ideas Unfold

A WebQuest for 8th Grade American History

Designed by

Kellen C. Holowicki
kholowic@emich.edu

 Boston Massacre


Introduction

Please view the music video of the song Apologize by Timbaland.

Today you will be writing a song parody. A song parody is when an original song is re-written using lyrics which speak to a purpose that was not necessarily intended by the original song writer. Parodies are often humorous, but can be more serious in nature.

Here is an example of a song parody of the song,“Apologize,” that directly references the Declaration of Independence on TeacherTube

While you write your song parody, please keep the following question in mind:

Why did the colonists begin to see themselves as separate from Mother England?

 


The Task

For this particular project, you will choose between four songs and re-write the lyrics to describe the American Revolution and the changing ideas and behaviors of the colonists which eventually lead to independence and war. Be sure your song reflects to some degree why the colonists began to see themselves as separate from the British Crown. Your final product will be a typed copy of the final version of your lyrics, with an imaginary band name of your choosing and your name at the top of the page. For extra credit, you may design a band logo, an album cover, or any other artistic expression of your song that is relevant to the song's content.

Please be sure your song lyrics are appropriate for school.

You will visit a few websites to get a feel for your original song before you use Microsoft Word, or some other word processor to type your parody lyrics that will be submitted online.




The Process

Step 1:

Choose one of the following songs to create a parody. Listed below are both audio/video recordings of the original songs so you can hear what they sound like, as well as the original lyrics which you will use to help guide you through the song-writing process. Try playing the video while reading the lyrics in a separate tab/window.



Step 2:

Copy and Paste the song lyrics from the website into a Word document so you can modify them easily. Be sure to save the document so you can return to the lyrics if you need to continue working on them.



Step 3:

Brainstorm on a sheet of paper or in a separate word document what you might want to include in your song to convey your answer to why the colonists began to see themselves as separate from the British. Write down words, phrases, ideas, people, concepts, etc. that could contribute to your song. Use your class notes to help you with ideas.



Step 4:

Read through your song, line by line, and re-write the lyrics to be relevant to the American Revolution, Be sure the lyrics flow well with the rhythm of the song. You may leave some lyrics in their original state if certain words make sense to your version of the song, for example, “You're as cold as ice,” might work well with a song about how the colonists felt towards the British. However, the following line, “You're willing to sacrifice our love,” doesn't necessarily speak to the Revolution so you would re-write that line.

Suggestions: It may be helpful to print out your lyrics so you can write your ideas directly on the page and keep track of how your version differs from the original version. You may also want to periodically stop the writing process and try singing your re-written version of the song along with the original to see how it flows.



Step 5:

In a Word document, please rename the song a title that makes sense with its contents, followed by your name, and your imaginary band name. Then write the original name of the song and who it was originally performed by. You will then type up a copy of your song parody, containing only your lyrics, save it as a .doc file, and email it to kholowic@emich.edu. Please write U.S. Song Parody in the subject line of the email.



Step 6 (Extra Credit):

If you choose, you may create a band logo, album cover, or any other artistic expression of your song that is relevant to the song's content. This can be a picture you took yourself (of your “band” perhaps), an edited/manipulated image, a computer drawing, or a hand-drawn picture that has been scanned or otherwise transferred to the computer so it can be submitted along with your song lyrics in the same email.


Evaluation

You will receive a score based on the following rubric. Each student will be graded on an individual basis. If you choose to collaborate with other people, you will need to submit a description of what each person contributed to the project, as well as what you contributed. Each person will still need to turn in their own copy of the song in order to receive credit, with all authors' names written at the top of the page.


Beginning

1

Developing

2

Accomplished

3

Exemplary

4

Score

 

Assignment Completion

 

Did not provide a word processed version of song parody.

Provided the necessary document but did not fulfill all requirements.

Provided a word processed version of song parody lyrics, along with the author's name, band name, and song title. The original artist and song title were also included.

Provided a word processed version of song parody, including the necessary requirements. Additionally included an artistic expression of the song.


 

Understanding of Key Concepts

 

 

Did not include content related to the American Revolution.

Included minimal content related to the American Revolution and/or did not adequately address the changing ideas and behaviors towards the British government.

Song includes content related to the American Revolution and adequately addresses the changing ideas and behaviors towards the British government.

Song includes particularly insightful lyrics to the revolutionary conflict.



Conclusion

Once you have completed this project, you will have a deeper understanding of why the colonists began to see themselves as separate from Mother England. Not only were the colonists upset about British taxation without representation, but a change took place within the people living in the colonies at that time that enabled them to take the drastic step towards declaring independence and eventually war against their original homeland. What would you do if faced with a similar choice?


Credits & References

Cain, J. and Perry, S. (1983). Separate Ways [Recorded by Journey]. On Frontiers [CD]. New York City, New York: Columbia Records. (1996).

Gramm, L. and Jones, M. (1977). Cold as Ice [Recorded by Foreigner]. On Foreigner [CD]. New York City, New York: Atlantic Records Corporation. (2002).

Joel, B. (1989). We Didn't Start the Fire [Recorded by Billy Joel]. On Storm Front [CD]. New York City, New York: Columbia Records. (2008).

Posner, M. and Blanco, B. (2010). Please Don't Go [Recorded by Mike Posner]. On 31 Minutes to Takeoff [CD]. New York City, New York: J-Records.

Revere, P. (1770). The Bloody Massacre [Engraving]. Retrieved from http://www.blog4history.com/2008/07/what-was-the-american-revolution-about/.

Last updated on July 11, 2011.