Hamilton: An American Musical is a broadway play that has become a part of pop culture. Hamilton is coming to Disney + in July, and our students may watch it over the summer. While Hamilton is a great way for students to become engaged in U.S. History, teachers can run into problems using the musical in their classroom.
Copyright or appropriateness of clips can limit the use of using the musical in the classroom. That is why I created three ways to incorporate Hamilton into the classroom.
Using lyrics is an excellent way for students to practice analyzing. When students analyze lyrics, they are looking for a deeper meaning to the text.
I have used this activity with the song “Non-Stop.” I edited the lyrics to include the discussion between Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton. Students then highlight a federalist and anti-federalist argument.
This activity also works with ” Framer Refuted.”
Tip: When using lyrics, make sure to edit the lyrics to exclude and inappropriate words or lines.
Students can use the images from Hamilton to write descriptions of the picture. This activity will be perfect for our visual learners, who may have trouble analyzing lyrics. This activity can be done in groups or as a gallery walk.
Can’t use lyrics? Hamilton can spark great conversations in the class about Lin- Manuel’s choice to include non-white actors to play the founding fathers and mothers.
Write a response
Certain songs deserve a reply, and challenging your students to make a response is a great way to spark creativity. The perfect song students can respond to is, “You’ll be back.” Students can write a response to King George from the perspective of a colonist or patriot.
To challenge your students, have the student use specific lines from the song to respond to and find historical sources to back up their claim.
Bring Hamilton into your
One of the most famous songs is the “Cabinet Battle” between Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton. You can play the song for the students and then have them complete this free activity.
If you don’t want to play the song, this activity can be used in a unit on early American Government. This resource comes with a comparison worksheet and writing prompt. You can get this resource in the Free Resource Library today!
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