Teaching with Hip Hop in the 7-12 Grade Classroom : A Guide to Supporting Students’ Critical Development through Hip Hop Texts book cover
1st Edition

Teaching with Hip Hop in the 7-12 Grade Classroom
A Guide to Supporting Students’ Critical Development through Hip Hop Texts

  • Available for pre-order on June 20, 2023. Item will ship after July 11, 2023
ISBN 9781032258010
July 11, 2023 Forthcoming by Routledge
176 Pages 14 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This book presents practical approaches for engaging with Hip Hop music and culture in the classroom. As the most popular form of music and youth culture today, Hip Hop is a powerful medium through which students can explore their identities and locate themselves in our social world. Designed for novice and veteran teachers, this book is filled with pedagogical tools, strategies, lesson plans, and real-world guidance on integrating Hip Hop into the curriculum. Through a wide range of approaches and insights, Lauren Leigh Kelly invites teachers to look to popular media culture to support students’ development and critical engagement with texts.


Covering classroom practice, assessment strategies, and curricular and standards-based guidelines, the lessons in this book will bolster students’ linguistic and critical thinking skills and help students to better understand and act upon the societal forces around them. The varied activities, assignments and handouts are designed to inspire teachers and easily facilitate modification of the assignments to suit their own contexts.


The impact of Hip Hop is undeniable, now more than ever; this is the perfect book for teachers who want to connect with their students, support meaning-making in the classroom, affirm the validity of youth culture, and foster an inclusive and engaging classroom environment.

Table of Contents


Meet the Author


Support Material


How to Use This Book

Chapter One- Introduction

  • Glossary of Terms
  • A Note on Honoring the Full Humanity of Students
  • Language and Censorship in Hip Hop Education

Chapter Two- Hip Hop Pedagogies in Classroom Practice

  • (Lessons One and Two) Building Hip Hop Classroom Community
  • (Lesson Three) "I Used to Love H.E.R.": Exploring Extended Metaphor and Allegory in Hip Hop Literature
  • (Lesson Four) Embodied Hip Hop Storytelling
  • (Lesson Five) Developing Critical Literacies through Hip Hop Jigsaw Groups
  • (Lesson Six) Exploring History, Geography, and Culture through Hip Hop Lit Circles
  • (Lesson Seven) Scrubs and Pigeons: Exploring Love and Relationships in Hip Hop Culture
  • (Lesson Eight) Developing Critical Hip Hop Literacies through Standardized Exam Preparation
  • (Lesson Nine) (Re)Defining the Modern Hip Hop Generation through Critical Media Literacies

Chapter Three- Remixing Classroom Assessments

  • (Assignment One) Mixtape Project
  • (Assignment Two) Literary Allusions
  • (Assignment Three) Hip Hop Literary Criticism
  • (Assignment Four) Hip Hop Author Study
  • (Assignment Five) Hip Hop Autobiography

Chapter Four- Teaching Hip Hop as a Content Area

  • "Move B!$*%; Get out the way!" Decentering the Self in Hip Hop Curriculum and Pedagogy
  • "Tear the Roof Off!" Reframing Teaching through a Hip Hop Lens
  • "If you stay ready, you ain’t got to get ready": Demonstrating Flexibility and Responsiveness in Hip Hop Education
  • "Teach Me How to Dougie" Modeling Critical Media Literacies and Discussion in the Classroom
  • "For My People" Engaging with Hip Hop community

Chapter Five- Closing Thoughts

Appendix A- Suggestions for Further Reading

Appendix B – Suggested Texts for Hip Hop-Based Curriculum

Appendix C- Hip Hop Course Study Guide Examples

Appendix D- Sample Hip Hop Course Curriculum

Appendix E- Hip Hop Education Resources, Conferences, and Organizations

Appendix F- Suggested Museum Trips for Exploring Hip Hop History and Culture in the U.S.


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Lauren Leigh Kelly is Assistant Professor of Urban Teacher Education at Rutgers University, USA.


"Teachers should not enter into the Hip Hop education space without reading Teaching with Hip Hop in the 7-12 Grade Classroom, regardless of grade level. This book is more than a guide; it will be your bible. Kelly has masterfully, with much care and love, assembled assignments, assessments, and activities that are intended to engage students in the beautiful process of world-making. This book is written by a master teacher—let it transform you and your classroom."

--Dr. Bettina L. Love, Award-winning author and the William F. Russell Professor at Teachers College, Columbia University, USA