Teaching Critical Thinking Creatively
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Hamilton vs. Jefferson – Hamilton the Musical in the Classroom – Rap Battle
NOTE: This project is really fun! You will find your students obsessively rapping the lyrics from Hamilton with their own twist. They will write and re-write their raps even after the project is due. They will come to you with every rewrite and “burn” that they script. Be prepared for the enthusiasm!
This unit combines the lyrics from two songs from “Hamilton the Musical” with Social Studies curriculum and common core. This also helps the students practice the skill of Point of View.
The unit plan includes three formative lessons that build the students’ skills and background knowledge about Washington’s presidency, the political differences between Hamilton and Jefferson, the U.S. response to the French Revolution, and the Whiskey Rebellion. I also include an “exit ticket” for each lesson that checks for student understanding.
It culminates with summative project that requires the students to write a “rap battle” about the Whiskey Rebellion. The students will craft an introduction and conclusion by Washington, and the arguments regarding the Whiskey Rebellion from Hamilton and Jefferson. The arguments will be provided in “rap” form. If you have 40 minute class periods, this lesson will likely last 7-8 days in total. You could easily add this project within your current unit on the first presidents.
I also include a simple rubric that is correlated with Common Core standards and the NYS Social Studies Practices.
The zip file included a PDF version, a PowerPoint version, and a link to a Google Slides version for easy editing.
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