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Distance Learning Packs: The Indigenous Roots of Rock and Roll


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Subject ArtsMusicSocial StudiesUS Government
Grade Level Grades 9-12
Resource Type Activity
Standards Alignment
Common Core State Standards

About This Lesson

What does Link Wray’s biography say about how Native Americans lived in the first half of the 20th century, and what role did Wray’s upbringing have on his music?

In this lesson, students watch clips from RUMBLE: The Indians Who Rocked The World and explore Link Wray’s position as an influence on later Hard Rock and Heavy Metal musicians. Students will investigate the history of the Shawnee Tribe, and use Wray as a case study to consider what life might have been like for a Shawnee in the American South during the early 20th Century. Finally, students debate ways Wray’s early life might have contributed to his future musical achievements–particularly “Rumble.”

Please see TeachRock's website for additional information and access to video content.



The Indiginous Roots of Rock and Roll.pdf

March 31, 2020
2.69 MB
External resources


Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.
Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently.
Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
Evaluate a speaker’s point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric.
Present information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
Make strategic use of digital media and visual displays of data to express information and enhance understanding of presentations.
Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and communicative tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate.
Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts, to make effective choices for meaning or style, and to comprehend more fully when reading or listening.
Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases by using context clues, analyzing meaningful word parts, and consulting general and specialized reference materials, as appropriate.
Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.
Acquire and use accurately a range of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases sufficient for reading, writing, speaking, and listening at the college and career readiness level; demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary knowledge when encountering an unknown term important to comprehension or expression.


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