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Money - Thats what I want

High School Lesson Plan: Analyzing Economic Themes in "Money (That's What I Want)" Lyrics

Grade Level: High School

Duration: 2 class periods (45 minutes each)


Students will analyze the lyrics of "Money (That's What I Want)" by Barrett Strong to explore economic themes and discuss the song's relevance across time. Students will also consider the broader implications of the song's message on society.


Lyrics of "Money (That's What I Want)" by Barrett Strong

Projector or whiteboard for displaying lyrics

Copies of the grading rubric for each student

Historical context handout on the song's release date

Day 1: Introduction and Analysis of Lyrics (45 minutes)

Introduction to the Song and Objective (10 minutes)

Play the song "Money (That's What I Want)" by Barrett Strong.

Briefly discuss the song's background and its themes.

State the lesson objective: to analyze the lyrics for economic themes and discuss the song's relevance.

Lyric Analysis and Discussion (25 minutes)

Display the lyrics on the projector or whiteboard.

Divide the class into small groups and assign sections of the lyrics to analyze.

Have groups identify lines that emphasize the desire for money and material wealth.

Encourage groups to discuss how these themes relate to economic realities and personal aspirations.

Class Discussion and Relevance (10 minutes)

Have each group share their analyses with the class.

Facilitate a discussion on whether the song's themes are still relevant today and how they resonate with modern economic conditions.

Day 2: Historical Context and Broader Implications (45 minutes)

Introduction to Release Date and Historical Context (15 minutes)

Provide handouts with information about the song's release date (1959) and its context in the music industry and society.

Discuss how the song's themes reflect the economic and social conditions of its time.

Group Discussion on Historical Relevance (20 minutes)

Divide students into groups and have them discuss the economic challenges faced by individuals in the late 1950s and how these challenges are similar or different from today.

Encourage groups to explore the reasons behind the perpetuation of money as a central desire.

Class Sharing and Broader Implications (10 minutes)

Have each group present their insights and findings.

Facilitate a class discussion on the broader implications of the song's message on consumerism, materialism, and societal values.


Participation in group discussions (30 points)

Individual reflection and analysis (20 points)

Understanding of historical context (15 points)

Engagement in class discussions (15 points)

Total: 80 points


As homework, students can research and present on the historical and economic context of the late 1950s, discussing the economic challenges and cultural influences of that time.

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