Boy's Literacy

When my brother was in high school, he told me how his English teacher had asked the class for anyone to come up to the board and give an example of rhyme. He laughed as he told me what he wrote:
Curiosity at a high velocity. Maybe possibly she had the hots for me.
The teacher wasn't as amused as he was but thanked him for his example.  Eric B. and Rakim's "What's on Your Mind?" is no sonnet.  It's about a guy on the subway trying to pick up a girl.

It doesn't surprise me that for many students song lyrics are their modern-day poetry.  Teachers can use lyrics as a vehicle to show students other writers with similar or different purposes from spinning tracks and selling labels.

This Ministry document suggests providing boys with musical texts.  Exploring lyrics not only helps develop literary skills but encourages discussion on their personal taste in music, its role in their lives and society (Research #8, 10).

Today, Ontario elementary report cards require a mark for Media Literacy for our young YouTubers.  That really makes me feel old.  I mean when I was in Grade 7 all I had to worry about was checking my Hotmail, now even my Grade 5's from last practicum had Facebook and who knows what other online accounts and passwords to manage. Taking a look at lyrics will not only help hit expectations for assessment purposes but they are much needed by today's youth bombarded with messages from the media through all kinds of technological gateways.

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