Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Activity Roundup: Music Video As Art

Flying Lotus is a prolific musician and producer whose experimental approach earns him respect across all genres of modern music. (He is the great-nephew of Alice and John Coltrane, so it perhaps runs in the family.) Kendrick Lamar is the most celebrated rapper of recent years. This song is their first collaboration - and this video (directed by Hiro Murai) is a joy to behold. Why don't you consider using it as a writing or speaking prompt in your class? Ideas for writing, speaking, vocabulary, and reading are after the jump.

For students in lower levels who are focusing on narrative writing (or oral storytelling), consider using a prompt like this:
  • Who is the boy and who is the girl? What is happening to them?
  • What happened to the boy and the girl before this moment?
  • What will happen to the boy and the girl after this moment?
For students in higher levels who are focusing on expository writing and critical thinking skills, consider using a prompt like this:
  • What elements of this video are sad and what elements of this video are happy? How do they work together?
  • How are the adults and the children different in this video? What do you think this means?
  • What contemporary social issues do you think this video addresses?
    I captured a still shot from this video to use as a pre-viewing exercise. You can show this slide before showing the video, and ask students to generate the vocabulary they will need to talk about it. I've also copied the lyrics onto this worksheet; advanced classes might enjoy working with these lyrics for vocabulary and reading comprehension purposes. 

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