If you need an engaging way to teach main idea and supporting details for middle school, rap song lyrics are the ultimate solution!
*Watch the video or read the transcript for it below.*
Here are three reasons you need to be using rap song lyrics to teach main idea and supporting details to your middle schoolers.
Rap Lyrics Hold Your Students’ Attention
As teachers, we are competing with so many things that are trying to grab our students’ attention—whether it’s YouTube, TikTok, smartphones, other kids in the class, or whatever is going on. We have to grab kids’ attention really quickly. Especially with the main idea because it’s such a complex topic, we need their full attention. We have to keep them engaged so they can understand, and rap lyrics do just that with engaging topics that students relate to.
Rap Lyrics Are Authentic Main Idea Texts
Rap lyrics connect with students on a different level than any other type of literature really can do. Middle school students just love it when they’re reading a text, and they come across an appropriate slang word, pop-culture word, a reference or a joke, and they connect with it. And that’s what often happens with rap lyrics because there’s so much wordplay. There’s so much wittiness, and that really grabs students’ attention.
Rap Lyrics Have Natural Main Idea Organization
Rap lyrics are already organized into a main idea structure. The chorus/hook, that’s one main idea by itself. You can often divide the verses into sections to show main ideas and the details that support them.
And here is why I’m focusing on rap music/rap lyrics, not pop songs, not any other songs that focus more on the melody, because rap music focuses on percussion and getting as much meat, details, and wordplay in. All of that dense language provides a lot of text to study with the student to teach them how to find the main idea (or central idea) so that students can understand that all of those main ideas connect with the specific details from the lyrics.
Done-for-you Rap-based Main Idea Activities
If you would like 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