1960s Music Lesson Plan

Instructor: Suzanne Rose

Suzanne has taught all levels PK-graduate school and has a PhD in Instructional Systems Design. She currently teachers literacy courses to preservice and inservice teachers.

Activities in this plan will support students in exploring the music of the 1960s, including the major artists and movements in music, and how these reflected and were reflected in social change and issues of the decade. As a culminating project, students work in groups to create multimedia presentations including music.

Learning Objectives

As a result of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • identify major types of music of the 1960s
  • explain how 1960s events shaped music and vice-versa
  • identify famous 1960s musical artists and songs
  • use online and library resources to research a topic
  • develop a multimedia presentation including music


3-4 days

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.2

Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.4

Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

Materials Needed

  • SmartBoard or projector to display lesson
  • 1960s Music: Artists & History quiz (one per student)
  • access to online and library resources for research
  • access to computers to develop multimedia presentations


Warm Up

  • Play a selection of 1960's music as the students enter the classroom on the day of this lesson.
  • Ask them if they recognized any of the music that was played.
  • Do an ABC Brainstorming activity to activate students' prior knowledge about the 1960s and 1960s music.
  • Give students a sheet of paper with each letter of the alphabet listed and have them work in pairs or small groups for about 5 minutes to try to come up with one name, phrase, event, song title, or other 1960's-related topic for each letter of the alphabet.
    • For example, 'B' could be 'Beatles,' 'British Invasion' or 'Beach Boys,' and 'M' could be 'Motown,' 'mod' or Monday, Monday.
  • Share a few of their responses for the difficult letters.

Text Lesson

  • Use the SmartBoard or projector to show the lesson 1960s Music: Artists & History to the entire group.
  • Read the first sections of the lesson, 'Music of the 1960s' and 'It's Only Rock and Roll' to the students.
    • Ask the students why it is difficult to summarize the music of the 1960s.
    • Which major type of music really became popular during the 1960s?
  • Have students read the rest of the lesson, answering any questions before moving on to the activity.

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