Ramblin’ Across the Andes: 2011 Lesson Plans, Audio Files and Teaching Materials
Teaching Materials include pdf documents of both the student handbook & teacher’s book, with complete lesson plans, lyrics, & handouts.
Audio Files include recordings of all the songs required for the lessons in the textbook.
Files will open in a new mediafire window. Please email us if you have any issues downloading these files at firstname.lastname@example.org here to download the textbook files click here to download the audio files for the textbook lessons
(Old Lesson Plans from Rambling Across Russia: 2010)
Ramblin’ 2010 Lessons
These lessons are directed towards lower-intermediate to intermediate level students. The full length articles found on the Read About Folk Music page are more appropriate for students of upper-intermediate to advanced levels. Many of the activities found in the following lessons can easily be modified to be used with the more difficult texts on that page. We recommend that teachers modify these lessons to fit the specific needs of their students.
You can read the lessons online, or click on the links to download.
Lesson #1 (Introduction to Folk Music)
Folk music exists everywhere. Folk music is any tune that you sing as you walk somewhere, a rhythm you play with your hand on a desk, or a song you make with your friends. It is not born in a studio or played on Top 40 radio. It is music of common people, and it describes a part of America which you won’t see on MTV.
Traditionally, folk music was not written or recorded. It was created in a time before compact discs, MP3s and the internet. People learned the songs directly from other people.
Folk songs often changed over time, as each person played the songs with their own unique style. People who lived in different regions of the United States might know different variants of the same song. They might know different lyrics or a different melody for a song of the same name. Or they might have different names for the same song. Many folk songs have no authors, or the original authors have been forgotten.
The folk music we are presenting to you is folk music from the United States. We often say that the United States is a country of immigrants, a melting pot of cultures. The folk music of the United States is as diverse as it’s culture. It developed after many years of contact between people of different ethnic, national, and cultural backgrounds. The roots of folk music can be found in countries all over the world, but the music itself is uniquely American.
Some of the common characteristics of American folk music are:
* It reflects the lives of common people.
* It is not standardized (there is no one correct version of any song).
* It is always changing.
* It’s roots are in the musical traditions of people who immigrated to the United States hundreds of years ago.
In the following lessons we will talk about both traditional folk music, and different kinds of music that grew out of traditional American folk music. We will try to explain the historical, social, and cultural context of each different genre. However, we would like to remind the readers that it is impossible to truly understand music by reading about it. The famous actor, comedian, and banjo player, Steve Martin, once said: “Writing about music is like dancing about architecture.” Words can never describe the sounds, energy, and emotions that are expressed through music. Therefore we encourage students and teachers to listen to the music on our website and YouTube channel. This will help you to better understand American folk music as you complete these lessons.
Understanding the Text:
What kind of music is folk music? What kind of people play and listen to it?
What are some of the general characteristics of folk music?
How was folk music shared with other people?
How is American folk music similar to American culture in general?
Complete the sentences with the following words from the text:
tune diverse roots melting pot
1. American folk music comes from the music of other countries. = The ________ of American folk music are in the music of other countries.
2. That’s a great song! = That’s a great ______ !
3. The cultures of the world are very different. = The cultures of the world are very _______.
4. People from many different nations and cultures live in the United States. = The United States is a _____________ of nationalities and cultures.
Do you think Russian folk music is similar to American folk music? Does it have the same general characteristics?
Why do you think American folk songs have changed over time? (Folk songs were not standardized so they evolved differently in different parts of the country.)
Look at the quote by Steve Martin – “Writing about music is like dancing about architecture.” What does he mean? Do you agree?
I. Work with a partner.
1. Show the students a picture of a folk musician from the “Pictures Handout.”
2. Ask the students to describe this person.
3. If they are having trouble give them questions like:
a. How old is the person?
b. What is the person wearing?
c. What is the person doing?
d. Where is the person?
4. Give one member of each group a picture from the “Folk Music Pictures Handout.” The student’s partner should not be able to see the picture.
5. The student with the picture should describe the person in the picture to the other student. Based on the first student’s description the second student should draw a picture of that person.
6. When each group is done, have the students who drew pictures show them to the class and describe the people they have drawn.
1. Show the students the same picture from part I.
2. This time ask them to use their imaginations to come up with more information about the person in the picture.
a. Where does the person live? Is he/she from a city or small town?
b. What does the person do when he’s not playing music? Does he/she have a job?
c. Does the person have a family?
d. What kind of music does the person play?
e. Why does the person like playing music?
f. Is this person wealthy or poor?
g. Is the person happy? Why or why not?
3. Using this information write a paragraph on the board as a class. Elicit sentences about the person from the information on the board. As a class decide how to organize these sentences into a paragraph.
4. Give each student a picture from the “Pictures Handout.” Tell the students that they are each going to write a short paragraph about the person in their picture. They will have to use their imagination to create the details of the person’s life. Tell them to use the information on the board as a guide, but not to copy it exactly.
Lesson #2 (old-time)
Common people have been playing old-time music in United States from the time that European immigrants began arriving there in the 17th century. Old-time music was influenced by the musical traditions of people from many different nations and cultures. These diverse musical traditions mixed together over time, as people from different countries and cultures came into contact with each other.
Old-time music grew out of the music brought to the United States by immigrants from the British Isles. Traditional music from these countries had two kinds of songs: ballads and dance tunes. Ballads were long songs which told a story. Often people sang them without the help of instruments. A ballad could be a story about anything, but most often they told romantic and sad stories.
The dance tunes, however, were cheerful songs with a fast tempo and a steady beat. These songs were most often played on a fiddle. Fiddle is the name for a violin when it is used in folk music. It was brought to the United States by Europeans. The fiddle would become one of the most important instruments in old-time music and all other forms of folk music in America.
Understanding the Text:
What kind of people played old-time music?
What were the two kinds of songs of traditional music from the British Isles?
What is difference between these two kinds of songs?
What is a fiddle?
I. Complete the sentences with the best word.
influenced diverse beat mix grew out of
Old-time music ___________ music of other cultures.
I like songs that are happy and ______________ .
Our lives are ___________ by friends and family.
I like music with a fast _______.
The cultures of the world are very different and unique. They are ___________ .
I listen to musicians who _________ punk and techno.
II. Write your own sentences using each word.
What are the influences of Russian music? What did it grow out of?
What are some traditional Russian songs you know? What are they about?
Do you think there are similarities between traditional Russian music and American old-time music?
Do you prefer cheerful music with a fast tempo and steady beat or do you prefer music that tells a story? Why?
The song “Willie Moore” is an example of an old-time ballad influenced by traditional English ballads. First listen to the song without looking at the lyrics. Don’t worry if you don’t understand all the lyrics.
After listening to the song discuss with a partner or in a group:
1. What do you think the song might be about?
2. How did the song make you feel?
3. What kinds of emotions did you feel while listening?
Now look at the lyrics. Review new vocabulary. Listen to the song again.
After listening a second time write a summary of the story in your own words.
Now listen to the song “Sally Ann”. This song is an example of an old-time dance tune. In groups or as a class discuss:
1. What kinds of emotions does this song inspire?
2. How is it different from the song “Willie Moore”?
3. Which song did you like more? Why?
Lesson #3 (old-time)
After arriving in the United States, immigrants continued to play the traditional songs of their homeland. As time went on the songs slowly began to change. People would often change the lyrics to the songs to describe their new lives in America. Sometimes musicians would make small changes to the melody of a song. As immigrants moved across the land and settled in different regions, the songs began to evolve in different ways. Each community developed its own individual style of playing these traditional songs. A musician from the mountains of West-Virginia would play a song differently than a musician from the hills of Kentucky. They would also sing the song with different lyrics.
Old-time music was not only influenced by the traditional songs of European immigrants; it was also strongly influenced by the musical traditions of Africans who were brought to America as slaves. The majority of slaves worked on large farms, called plantations, in the Southern United States. There were also many free black people living in the South. There was much contact between whites and blacks, and white musicians often borrowed features of the songs they heard black musicians play. One of the most important things that slave musicians shared with old-time musicians was the banjo. The banjo is an instrument with five strings and a round body covered by a drum. It was brought to the U.S. from Africa by slaves, and it would become one of the most common instruments used in old-time music.
Besides the fiddle and banjo many other instruments were popular in old-time music. The guitar was one of the most common instruments played by old-time musicians. Musicians sometimes used other instruments such as the piano, bass, mandolin, dulcimer, harmonica, autoharp, ukelele, and steel guitar. Sometimes music was accompanied by a form of dancing, called flatfooting or buck-dancing, in which rhythms were played with one’s feet on the floor while dancing.
Understanding the text:
Are the following statements true or false? If false, change the sentence to make it true.
Musicians often made changes to traditional songs.
Old-time musicians in different parts of the U.S. played songs the same way.
Africans came to the United States to earn money.
White musicians learned from black musicians.
The guitar was brought to the U.S. by Africans.
With a partner, answer the questions about these words:
Settle: Where would you like to settle?
Evolve: How has your country evolved in the last ten years?
Borrow: What kinds of things is it okay to borrow from a friend
Accompany: Who would you want to accompany you on a long trip?
1.Do you play any musical instruments? If you could play any instrument what would it be? Why?
2. Old-time music was different in different regions of the U.S. Many things like culture, accent, food, and clothing were different well. What differences are there between people in different regions of your country? Are people becoming more different or more similar? Why?
3. The banjo is a unique instrument in the United States. What Russian instruments are similar to the banjo?
4. Not many people know that the banjo is from Africa. What popular things in your own culture came from somewhere else?
1. There are many interesting instruments used in American folk music. Have your students research an instrument and ask them to give a five minute presentation in class. Some instruments are: fiddle, banjo, guitar, upright bass, harmonica, ukulele, mandolin, autoharp, steel guitar, dulcimer, washboard, spoons, mouth harp, the saw,
2. Make a rubber-band guitar!
All the materials can be found around the house.
Lesson #4 (Old-time)
The communities where old-time music was most popular were usually small villages far from cities where people lived in poverty. Old-time musicians were farmers, coal miners, factory workers, slaves, and sharecroppers. The social and economic difficulties faced by rural southerners are reflected in the lyrics of many old-time songs which tell of the difficulties of everyday life. The following lines are from the song “Little Log Cabin in the Lane”, which tells the story of an old farmer who is poor and lonely:
Oh the chimney’s falling down and the roof’s all caved in
Lettin’ in the sunshine and the rain
And the only friend I’ve got now is that good old dog of mine
And the little old log cabin in the lane
Religious themes were also very common in the lyrics of old-time songs. Religion played an important role in the lives of most people living in the rural south, and it was in the church that most old-time musicians were first introduced to music. The songs sung in church were known by everyone in the community and many of these songs were played by old-time musicians. The song, “Will the Circle be Unbroken”, is a religious hymn that was written in 1907 and has been played by countless folk musicians:
Will the circle be unbroken
By and by, by and by?
Is a better home awaiting
In the sky, in the sky?
Old-time music was social music. It was played at social gatherings, parties, and dances. It was played in people’s homes when family members gathered after work or whenever visitors came. Whenever there was a party there would always be a fiddler, sometimes accompanied by a banjoist or guitarist, to provide music. Often they would play for hours without rest as people danced along. It was music that brought family, friends, and neighbors together.
Understanding the text:
In what kinds of communities was old-time music popular?
Did old-time musicians play music professionally? What did they do?
Where did most old-time musicians first learn music?
At what events was old-time music played?
Replace the underlined phrases with one of the following words:
in poverty sharecroppers rural community countless gathered
Old-time music was most popular in places far from cities.
People came together to listen to music.
All of the citizens of the town enjoyed listening and dancing to the music.
Most people lived without much money.
Farmers who did not own land were usually very poor.
A great number of people came to enjoy the music.
1. Old-time music was most popular in rural communities. Do you live in a city or a rural town? What are the pluses and minuses about living in a small town? What about living in cities? Which do you prefer?
2. Religion was very important to people living in rural communities. Do you think religion is important to people where you live?
3. Traditions have always been better preserved (сохранены) in rural communities than in cities. Why do you think this is?
4. Many old-time musicians learned to sing in church. Do you like to sing? Where did you learn? What songs do you like to sing?
5. Old-time music was played at social events when family, friends, and neighbors came together. What kinds of events bring people together in your culture?
The situation: An American folk music group has come to Russia to play a tour with dates all across the country. They are meeting with the press for an interview. Ask for four volunteers to play the role of the musicians. The rest of the class will be members of the press who will ask questions.
Lesson #5 (The blues)
“The Blues” is a kind of music that is very important in the United States. It was created by African Americans who used to be slaves in the early part of the 1900′s. Black people in America used to live and work on large farms called plantations. Their working conditions were not very good, and while they worked, they would sometimes sing to each other in the fields. Later, these songs became the first Blues music.
This kind of music is very emotional. Slaves did not have happy lives, and even after slavery became illegal, life for black people in the south was still extremely difficult. Therefore, the words to these songs were often very sad. It became possible to say, “I’ve got the blues” or “I’m feeling blue” when you were sad because of the lyrics of these songs. Here is an example of a Blues song.
“All My Love’s In Vain” by Robert Johnson.
I followed her to the station with a suitcase in my hand
And I followed her to the station with a suitcase in my hand
Well it’s hard to tell it’s hard to tell, when all your love’s in vain
All my love’s in vain
When the train rolled up to the station, I looked her in the eye
When the train rolled up to the station, and I looked her in the eye
Well I was lonesome I felt so lonesome, and I could not help but cry
All my love’s in vain
When the train it left the station, ‘t was two lights on behind
When the train it left the station, ‘t was two lights on behind
Well the blue light was my blues and the red light was my mind
All my love’s in vain
All my love’s in vain
This song is about a man who loves a woman, but the woman has to leave. And even though he loves her very much, she will not stay with him. So all of his love means nothing, or, all of his love is in vain.
Another very important part of Blues music that came from African culture is something called “call and response.” This came with the slaves from Africa and was developed into the songs that slaves would sing as they worked. One person, the leader, would sing a line and a group of people would sing it back. Blues singers played their guitars in a similar way. If you listen to the recording of “All My Love’s In Vain” you can hear how after the singer sings each line, the guitar plays back to him. It almost sounds like the guitar is answering, or responding, to what the singer sings.
Understanding the text:
Why are the lyrics of Blues songs so sad?
What does it mean to say “I’ve got the blues”?
What does the man in the song mean when he says, “all my love’s in vain?”
What is “call and response”?
Complete the sentences with the missing word.
conditions vain call response leader
A president is the __________ of a country.
He worked all night and still did poorly on the test. All his hard work was in _______.
I didn’t hear your _________ because I was sleeping.
Everyone wants to work in good ___________.
I asked him a question but I couldn’t hear his ___________.
Now write your own sentences using each word.
1. Slaves often sang to each other while working to make the time go faster. What kinds of things do you do to help kill time? Sing songs? Daydream? Talk on the phone?
2. In the song “All My Love’s In Vain” a man is sad because a woman he loves is leaving. Describe a time when you, or someone you know, left home. Was it difficult?
3. Describe a time when you had the blues. What made you feel this way? What did you do to feel better?
Call and Response
1. Pass out the Call and Response Handout to your students:
Explain to your students that:
“Ain’t” is another way of saying “isn’t” or “aren’t”
“Cause” is another way of saying “because”
These are examples of conversational American English speech. Although they are used very often in everyday conversation and are found in songs, not everyone considers this to be “correct” English.
Have your students complete the sentences.
Sit in a circle with your students. Students will now share what they wrote with the class in the form of “call and response.” Each student will take a turn as the leader, and the rest of the class will repeat each line. The teacher should go first so that the students will see how it is done. Everyone should clap their hands or snap their fingers together.
teacher (call): “I get the blues when the rain is falling down.”
students (response): “I get the blues when the rain is falling down.”
teacher (call): “Yes I feel blue if my family is not around.”
students (response): “Yes I feel blue if my family is not around.”
teacher (call): “But those blues ain’t gonna get me‘cause my family is in town.”
students (response): “Buth those blues ain’t gonna get me ‘cause my family is in town.”
If your students are more advanced you can ask them to write it in rhyme, as above, but this is not necessary.
Go around the circle so that each student has a turn to be leader.
Call and Response Handout
I get the blues when __________________________________.
Yes I feel blue if _____________________________________.
But those blues ain’t gonna get me
Lesson #6 (The blues)
The Blues began in small black farming communities, but soon it grew into something much bigger. During the Great Depression, a time between 1929 and 1940 when it was very hard to find a job in America, many people, white and black, were forced to move out of the countryside and into cities to find work. This migration brought the Blues to city people and made a division within this style of music. Now there were two kinds of Blues; Country Blues and City Blues. Country Blues was usually just a man or woman singing and playing a banjo or guitar. City Blues could have many more instruments, like washboard, double bass, fiddle, and mandolin, and sounded more professional.
After World War II, Blues continued to grow in popularity. The economy had recovered and during the 1950′s many more African Americans moved to cities, bringing the Blues to more people. By this time the blues was very popular in cities like St. Louis, Chicago, Memphis, and Detroit. In these cities, a new style began to grow out of City Blues called Electric Blues. This is the style that most modern blues musicians still play. It includes instruments like drums, electric guitar, electric bass, harmonica, and a horn section. But even though Blues was becoming more and more well known, the musicians and fans of this music were still mostly black. This began to change in the 1960′s and 70′s.
Until this time, even though black people were no longer slaves, white and black people lived very different lives. This was especially true in the Southern States where black people were forced to eat at different restaurants, sit in different seats on buses, and even send their children to different schools. If any of these social taboos were broken, the penalty was often death. This separation also existed in the music community. Most white people did not listen to black performers, and therefore, did not listen to the Blues.
But from 1955 to 1980 something called the American Civil Rights Movement took place. During this time, African Americans fought against the unfair way that white people forced them to live. It was a very hard time in American History with many sad stories, but once black and white people began to live together peacefully some great things happened. As the races began to mix their lives together, their music mixed together too. African American Blues musicians like B.B. King became internationally famous among white and black people. And many of the great Blues musicians playing today, like Stevie Ray Vaughan and Eric Clapton, are white.
Nowadays, Blues is for everyone. In most large American cities, there is at least one Blues Club where people can go to play, dance, or just listen and enjoy. Children learning how to play guitar for the first time are taught how to play the 12 Bar Blues before they learn anything else. This music has inspired many films such as “The Blues Brothers” in 1980 and “Crossroads” in 1986, and even video games like “Guitar Hero” keep the Blues alive and popular for our children. The birth and evolution of the Blues is an important piece of the cultural history of the United States, and it will never be forgotten.
Understanding the text:
1. List some instruments that were used to play Blues as it became more and more developed.
2. According to the article, what are some major events in U.S. History that had an impact on the growth of Blues music?
3. Give examples of how black and white people were separated in Southern society.
4. How is the tradition of Blues music remembered in modern American Society?
Complete the rewritten sentences using the following words:
migration separation taboo inspired evolution
1. Many people moved from the countryside to cities.
There was a ______________ of people from the countryside to cities.
2. Black people had no choice but to eat at different restaurants.
Black people were ____________ to eat at different restaurants.
3. The changes in blues music are an interesting part of American history.
The ___________ of blues music is an interesting part of American history.
4. He really likes blues music.
He is a ___________ of blues music.
5. Blues music caused people to make films such as “The Blues Brothers” and “Crossroads”
Films such as “The Blues Brothers” and “Crossroads” were ___________ by blues music.
6. After World War II the economy got better.
After World War II the economy ______________.
7. Interaction between whites and blacks was not accepted by society.
Interaction between whites and blacks was ______________.
8. Whites and blacks lived very different lives.
There was a great ___________ between the whites and blacks.
Discussion (in groups or as a class)
1. Discuss with your students the historical origins of blues music mentioned in the article. (It came from work songs and spiritual songs of slaves.) Ask them what they know about the conditions of life of slaves in the United States. (Slaves had no rights and were considered the property of their owners. They often had to work very long hours doing difficult work. They were not paid. They were often mistreated by their masters. They had no right to education. They often began working as young as five years old.)
2. Discuss the social, demographic, and geographic characteristics of people who played and listened to traditional blues music. (poor, lower class, black, southern)
Themes of blues songs
3. Ask your students what blues songs are usually about. What are some common themes of blues songs? What does it mean if someone says “I’ve got the blues?” Tell them that blues songs were often about misfortune and the difficulties of life. Common themes include loneliness, poverty, and failed love.
4. Two other common themes include the ideas of ‘ramblin and the crossroads. Explain the meaning of ramblin’ (to travel without destination) and ask them if they know any synonyms (wander, roam, drift). Ask students why they think the idea of ramblin’ is important in blues music. What does it represent? ( freedom, independence) Write the word, “crossroads”, on the board. Ask students what this word means. Ask them what they think this word might represent. (Important decisions, change, choices)
5. Pass out the “Blues Lyrics Handout” and ask your students to find these themes in the songs.
Poetry and the blues
6. Ask students about the similarities between poetry and music. Explain that many African American poets have been influenced by blues music in their poetry. Tell them that one of the songs they just read is actually a poem written by a famous African American poet. Ask them if they can guess which one (Langston Hughes).
7. Write the words “Poetic Devices” on the board. Ask your students if they know what these are. If not, tell them that metaphor is a common poetic device. Now ask them if they know other poetic devices. Hand out the “Poetic Devices Handout”, or write the different devices on the board. Write some sentences on the board and ask the students to identify the poetic devices in them. Ask the students to write an example for each device. Ask students to look again at the “Blues Lyrics Handout” and ask them if they see any of these poetic devices in them.
Structure of blues songs
8. Ask the students to look one more time at the “Blues Lyrics Handout”. Ask them if they see any common patterns in the structure of the lyrics. Explain that the most common structure for blues songs is called AAB. This means that the first two lines are the same, while the third line is different, usually offering some new information or explanation about the first two lines.
Writing your own blues song
9. Review with the students all of the characteristics of blues songs that they have learned (historical, socio-cultural, common themes, poetic devices, structure) Then tell them that they are going to write their own blues song. It should follow the AAB structure. It should contain some of the common themes discussed as well as some poetic devices.
The Blues Classroom at pbs.org – history of the blues, blues artist profiles, lesson plans, and videos.
Lesson #7 (country):
Country music is today one of the most popular genres of music in the United States. The music has a very long history. Its roots are in the traditional old-time music of the south. Early country music was very similar to old-time music, but country musicians also used elements of the blues and popular city music. Country musicians also used many new instruments such as lap-slide guitars, electric guitars, resonator guitars, and drums. Today country music includes many different sub-genres: country rock, alternative country, western swing, country pop, and others.
Not everybody agrees about when country music began. Jimmie Rodgers is known as the “father of country music.” He was born in rural Mississippi in 1897. His mother died when he was five years old, and he was raised by his father. His father was a railroad worker. He often had to move from one town to another for work. Because of this Rodgers saw many different parts of the country in his childhood.
Rodgers began working with his father on the railroad at the age of 14. During his life he worked in areas all over the South and met many different people. When he became a professional musician in 1925 his experiences as a railroad worker influenced his music. He wrote many songs about life on the railroad. His fans called him “the singing brakeman.”
By 1930 Rodgers was the most popular southern musician in the country. There is a legend that customers at stores would say, “let me have a pound of butter, a dozen eggs, and the latest Jimmie Rodgers record.” His music was influenced by the blues, which he learned from black musicians while working on the railroads. He was an excellent guitar player, but his songs were most popular for his unique singing. Most of his songs were about small-town life, the railroad, traveling hobos, and other themes familiar to southerners.
Understanding the Text:
How is country music different from old-time music?
Who was the father of modern country music?
Why did Jimmie Rodgers travel a lot as a child?
What was most unique about Jimmie Rodgers’ musical style?
Match the words with the correct definition.
genre roots to raise experiences unique hobo
1. A traveling worker
2. Events in a person’s life
3. To care for a child
4. A style or category
5. Different from everything else
6. Origin or beginning
Now with a partner answer these questions:
What is your favorite genre of music? of films? of books?
What are your cultural and ethnic roots?
Who raised you? Your mother, father, grandmother?
Describe one difficult experience in your life. Now describe an amazing experience.
What makes your hometown or city unique?
1. Jimmie Rodgers is called the “father of country music.” Do you know any other artists who are known as “founding fathers” of a certain style? What Russian artists are considered “fathers” or “mothers” of an artistic style?
2. Jimmie Rodgers lived in many different places as a child. Have you ever moved to a different town or city? Describe this experience. What are the pluses and minuses of moving?
I. Hank Williams:
Jimmie Rodgers was the ‘father’ of country music, but Hank Williams was the first country music star.
1. Listen to the VOA Special English report on country musician Hank Williams. Here’s a transcription of the report.
2. Read the following questions about Hank Williams:
When was he born?
Why couldn’t his father work?
What did he get when he was eight years old?
What was the name of his first hit song?
Which of his songs are remembered best?
How many musicians have recorded the song “Your Cheatin’ Heart?”
What problems did he have during his life?
How old was he when he died?
3. Now listen to the report a second time and listen for the answers to these questions.
4. In groups or as a class discuss:
a.Why do you think Hank Williams’ sad songs were more popular than his happy songs?
b.Hank Williams was rich and famous, but he was also sad and lonely. How important do you think money and success are? Can they make a person happy?
II. Ramblin’ on My Mind:
1. Listen to the Hank Williams song “Ramblin’ Man”
2. Ask students to guess what ramblin’ means. Pass out the lyrics and read them. Look at the use of the word ramblin’ to help students guess the meaning of the word.
3. Give the definition of ramblin’ (to travel without destination) and ask them if they know any synonyms (wander, roam, walk, hike, travel, etc.)
4. Listen to the song a second time. In groups or as a class discuss:
a. Why does the man in the song ramble? Why does he like it?
b. What do other people think about the man’s ramblin’?
5. In groups or as a class discuss:
a. Why do people ramble? (they’re lost, for an adventure, because they’re lonely, to see new things, to get a new view of life, to travel, etc.)
b. Where would you like to ramble? (mountains, desert, forests, big cities, siberia, from town to town)
c. How would you ramble? (by foot, by car, by train, hitchiking, etc.)
d. With whom would ramble? (friends, family, strangers, alone, your dog, etc.)
6. Have your students draw a picture or write a story about where they would like to ramble and have them present it to the class.