Here’s how to turn rap song lyrics into fun main idea lesson ideas for your students!
*Watch the video or read the transcript for it below.*
Finding the Right Lyrics for Main Idea Activities
Now, the first thing we need to look at is how do we find the main idea in rap lyrics, and the best way to do that is by choosing the right rap song lyrics for this.
The fastest way is simply by doing a Kids Bop search for songs you’re looking for. Kidz Bop has lots of popular songs and all of them are rewritten and clean, making them easy to access. This is the simplest way to do it.
All rap lyrics are not created equal.
Now, personally for me, I find Kidz Bop sometimes to be a little boring, and I also ask myself if using “relyriced” songs from certain artists really kid-friendly. Well, hey, that’s a discussion for another time. Now, I spent a lot of my time writing songs and creating my own rap-based main idea activities that you can check out here.
Identifying Paragraphs in Rap Lyrics
The way I do this is that I look at each section of the verse as a unique paragraph, and this pretty much works with any song. Once you identify the paragraph you’re looking for, when you instruct students on doing so, you want them to look for specific details and, specifically, key phrases that are similar.
Looking at this section of the song lyrics, I’m going to start off with “I’ma work,” that explains the idea of obviously someone doing work. “I’ma get it”; it explains the same type of notion. Also, “I’ma keep it in a motion.” And the last one we’re going to look at is “keep it moving like kinetic.”
Creating Main Idea Sentences from Rap Lyrics
Now, we’re going to take all of these and plug them into our handy-dandy main idea graphic organizer with details. I’m going to blend them together to write a main idea sentence.
And boom! We have this one: “The author is determined to keep working.” This was a quick, simple activity to do, but imagine having this extended for group work. Now, imagine having this as independent work to see what students really understand about the text, or just using it as a center activity every day in school.
Done-for-you Rap-based Activities!
If you want to go beyond fun main idea lesson ideas and get done-for-you, rap-based activities for all of this, click here. These are ideal for teaching main idea and supporting details for middle school with rap song lyrics. If you’ve been getting value from this blog post, share it with anyone else who would get value as well.
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Thanks for reading! More great content coming soon.
Until then, happy teaching to you!
Ken with Rap Opera for Kids