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A Means of Telling Stories

Activity 2
WB p. 106

A Means of Telling Stories

Group 1

How Music Helped Win the American Revolution

The Spirit of ‘76 (previously known as
Yankee Doodle), by Archibald Willard, 1875.

Culture note

First Amendment of the US Constitution

It protects several basic freedoms in the United States including the freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, the right to assemble, and the right to petition the government. It was part of the Bill of Rights that was added to the Constitution on December 15, 1791.

Group 2

History of Rap Music

More than a century before rap exploded o nto the American music scene, West African musicians were telling stories rhythmically, with just the beat of a drum for accompaniment. Meanwhile, folk artists from the Caribbean Islands were also telling stories in rhyme. Indeed, these singing poets from Africa and the Caribbean lay the foundation for modern-day American rap music.

Rapping essentially involves the speaking or chanting of rhyming lyrics, often set to a beat. The rhyming created by rappers is considered by many to be o ne of the most sophisticated styles of poetry. What’s more, these rhymes often address provocative subjects such as sex, violence and socio-political issues.

Rapping first gained popularity in the U.S. in the 1970s as a kind of street art, especially among African-American teenagers. But it wasn’t until 1979 […] that record producers took notice of this emerging musical genre. O nce they did, numerous rap acts surfaced, and rap’s audience began to swell. It wasn’t just African-American male rappers getting in o n the act, either: by the 1980s, white rap bands […] and female rap […] bands were reaching the top of the charts.

By the 1990s, rap matured from an old-schoolstyle – which was based o n relatively simple lyrics – to a new-school-style, which was louder and included more complex lyrics. Artists such as The Notorious B.I.G., Snoop Dogg and Tupac ruled the charts during this time, as did Eminem – o ne of the most popular white rappers of all time.

Rap has stood the test of time and its popularity rages o n with today’s artists such as 50 Cent, Ludacris and Jay-Z churning out hit after thoughtprovoking hit. The beat truly does go on.

“History of Rap Music”,

Group 3

The 20 Best Protest Songs of 2017: Critics’ Picks

The lead single from P!nk’s seventh album, Beautiful Trauma, paints a grim picture of a broken America. The lyrics are just vague enough to be a pop anthem that can apply to any sort of injustice. But then New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s keynote speech at the Republican National Convention plays at the beginning of the music video, and the song’s rallying cry against “broken promises” seems to zero in on the current administration.

“The 20 Best Protest Songs of 2017: Critics’ Picks”, Allison Stubblebine and Caitlin Kelley, billboard, 2017.

Pink, 2019

You are in charge of one document.

Workbook p. 106

List the main ideas of your documents and be ready to present them.

a. How would you define storytelling? What goals can storytelling achieve?

b. To what extent do your documents show music and storytelling as a form of rebellion?

Useful vocabulary: Storytelling means + V-ing… Thanks to storytelling, … The document shows / reveals… It clearly highlights the fact that...
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Let's talk this out!

Share your findings and learn about the other documents.

a. What are the common points and differences between your documents?

b. What do the documents reveal about how songs or music videos can be used to tell stories that break the rules?

Read the culture note on the opposite page. Should the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution cover artistic expression? Why or why not?

Are words more powerful than images? Why or why not?

Useful vocabulary: In my opinion, … I think we need / don’t need to acknowledge that… There is a / no difference between… and … In fact, … To me, power resides in…
Voir la correction

Grammar in progress

Le génitif

Observez les formes soulignées dans le texte.
Qu’en déduisez‑vous quant à la construction du génitif en anglais ?


  • inspirational (adj.)
  • patriotic (adj.)
  • raise a voice against (exp.)
  • war musicians (exp.)
  • censorship (n.)
  • narrative / story (n.)
  • convey / deliver (v.)
  • depict (v.)
  • identify with (v.)
  • instil (v.)
  • stimulate / trigger (v.)

Let’s learn!

Chrono challenge

In 30 seconds, write down as many genitive or possessive cases as you can. Make sure they are linked to the unit.

On your way to the task ❯❯ Step 2

Post a Video on Your Blog

Let’s use what you have learnt in !

Post a video on your blog about an American music style or a video clip, explain what it reveals about America and how it breaks any established rules.

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