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"Every Generation Has a Soundtrack" → Create an original insight piece highlighting music from a specific generation.
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AP Courses
Gen X
Gen Y
Gen Z
Baby Boomers
Silent Generation
Social Media
Parenting Styles
Gig Economy
Boomerang Kids
Sandwich Generation
Estates and Wills
Accounting Practices of the Family
End-of-Life Issues
Physician-Assisted Suicide
Cross-Cultural Funeral Traditions
Agents of Socialization
Socio-Metric vs. Perceived Popularity

How to Cite

JEAN, Yvette. 2019. “ → Create an Original Insight Piece Highlighting Music from a Specific Generation”. TRAILS: Teaching Resources and Innovations Library for Sociology, May. Washington DC: American Sociological Association.


Through this innovative music project, "Every Generation has a Soundtrack," students learn how songs are consciously constructed to convey messages to a target audience. This project-based learning (PBL) resource provides step-by-step instructions that teach students to deconstruct music for its media message. This project has tremendous flexibility in...

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Subject Area(s):
Aging/Social Gerontology
Resource Type(s):
Class Level(s):
Any Level
Class Size(s):

Usage Notes

1. Many of the projects carried a force greater than anything I could have imagined. One student wrote about a song that identifies mass shootings as a key source of anguish for this generation, another wrote about a song that depicts the hollow meaning of selfies in a generation preoccupied with social media, and yet another wrote about how this...

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Learning Goals and Assessments

Learning Goal(s):

  1. Deconstruct song into four components: voice, instrumentation, lyrics, and sound effects
  2. Analyze and identify the media messages in the song’s four components.
  3. Create an insight piece that identifies how the different parts of the song shape the media message.

Goal Assessment(s):

  1. Formative: Online discussion forum with the question: "Which song are you going to choose and why?" as well as additional prompts outlined in "Instructions: How to Analyze a Song."
  2. Formative: Exchange rough drafts with fellow student and give feedback using a grading rubric.
  3. Summative: Create an original insight piece about one song, highlighting how the media messages of the social issues of that era are conveyed through the four components of the music

When using resources from TRAILS, please include a clear and legible citation.

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