Pilot Lesson Guides – Request for Participants

University of Michigan, School of Information: Seeking K-12 Teachers to Pilot New Lesson Guides

Help a team of graduate student researchers at the School of Information of the University of Michigan assess the efficacy of Smithsonian Folkways Recordings’ new Learning Pathways Program!

The Learning Pathways are a series of lesson guides designed to teach K-12 students about a diverse range of musical traditions, and the cultural and historical contexts in which these traditions developed. They incorporate primary sources and audio recordings from the Smithsonian’s collections into themed units consisting of 12 lessons each. Each lesson is highly customizable, and is designed to be used in both music and non-music classes. 

The team of graduate student researchers at the University of Michigan is seeking K-12 teachers who would be willing to pilot one or more Learning Pathway lessons in non-music classroom settings. We are interested in learning more about teachers’ experience using these materials and what could make them more useful. The following Learning Pathways are currently available for pilot implementation:

  • Power to the People: Sounds of the Civil Right Movement (9th – 12th Grade)
  • Estoy aquí: Music of the Chicano Movement (5th – 8th Grade)
  • Cajun & Zydeco: Flavors of Southwest Louisiana (4th – 8th Grade)
  • Listen What I Gotta Say: Women in the Blues (4th – 8th Grade)

These materials, while centered around folk song recordings, provide a starting point for teaching the history and context of each of these subjects. They also include writing activities, creative activities, and other active learning exercises.

For more information on the Learning Pathways, their missions, and their contributors, view the guide or visit their website.

The team would especially like to invite secondary school teacher members of the World History Association to participate in piloting the Learning Pathways. Interested teachers may sign up to gain access to the instructional materials using this form.