1950s Music Lesson Plan

Instructor: Dana Dance-Schissel

Dana teaches social sciences at the college level and English and psychology at the high school level. She has master's degrees in applied, clinical and community psychology.

What is unique about the music of the 1950s? This lesson plan uses a video lesson to outline key facts for the class. An activity connects students with the vinyl record craze of the 1950s.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • outline key characteristics of 1950s music
  • discuss the origins and evolution of 1950s music
  • list well-known musical artists of the 1950s


45 to 60 minutes

Curriculum Standards


Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.


Identify key steps in a text's description of a process related to history/social studies (e.g., how a bill becomes law, how interest rates are raised or lowered).


Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary specific to domains related to history/social studies.


Integrate visual information (e.g., in charts, graphs, photographs, videos, or maps) with other information in print and digital texts.


Analyze the relationship between a primary and secondary source on the same topic.


  • Audio samples of several well-known songs from the 1950s
  • An audio sample of Frank Sinatra music from the 1950s
  • A video clip of Elvis Presley performing in the 1950s
  • An audio sample of 1950s country music
  • A worksheet created using the quiz from the associated video lesson
  • Several images showing 1950s album covers
  • Poster board
  • Markers

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