Rap 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.

Your students might listen to it, but do they know the origins of rap music? A video lesson lays out the genre's history, a quiz assesses understanding, and an activity gives students a chance to show what they've learned. Optional activities and related lesson support future learning.

Learning Objectives

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

  • define 'rap'
  • identify examples of rap
  • outline the origins and cultural significance of rap


1 hour


  • Several audio clips of rap music

Curriculum Standards


Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of how key events or ideas develop over the course of the text.


Compare and contrast treatments of the same topic in several primary and secondary sources.


  • Begin by playing the audio clips for the class. Ask them to describe what they've just listed to in one word, sharing their responses with the class.
  • Now play the video lesson What Is Rap Music? - Definition, History & Artists, pausing at 1:29. How many students described the clips as rap?
  • Now ask the class to consider where rap came from, again sharing their answers with the class.
  • Play the video lesson and pause at 2:52. How did the students do in their responses regarding the origins of rap? Review this briefly in a class discussion using the information provided in the video lesson as a guide.
  • Now ask the class if they think that rap is the same as singing.
  • Play the rest of the video lesson now.
  • Review the information presented in the lesson briefly before having the students to complete the associated quiz as a class.

Discussion Questions

  • How has rap changed the popular music scene?
  • Is rap only found in American culture?

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