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Lesson Plan 8-6: Parody in Music

Using a Melody For a Message

What does Weird Al Yankovic share in common with Michael Jackson and Madonna? The three performers are the only performers who have had at least one Top 40 hit in each decade since the 1980s. Weird Al’s Word Crimes, a parody of Robin Thicke’s controversial Blurred Lines, became a viral sensation on YouTube, winning the attention of music critics and grammarians alike. Weird Al’s popularity is a testament to clever song writing and the enduring popularity of parodies.

American musical heritage is rich with parodies—some of which have eclipsed the success and popularity of the original tunes that inspired them. For example The Star-Spangled Banner, a song that celebrates American resilience and independence, is a parody of a British tune. In this lesson, students will immerse themselves in the study and creation of parodies. They will uncover the history of our national anthem, research the events of the Battle of Baltimore, write and perform parodies with their classmates.

This interdisciplinary lesson aligns to Maryland College and Career Ready Standards.

View and download Lesson Plan 8-6 in PDF or MS Word format. 

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