Teach the Beat!

Bringing the distinctive D.C. sound of go-go into the classroom.

Teaching for Change is honored to work with D.C.  area schools and the authors of The Beat! Go-Go Music from Washington, D.C. to develop lessons and share teaching ideas for infusing the history and music of go-go in middle and high school social studies, language arts, math, music, and/or D.C. history classes, and to bring renowned go-go performers into D.C. classrooms.

"Go-go has stayed true to time-honored cultural scripts such as live call-and-response, live instrumentation, as well as its locally rooted fashions, slang, dance, distribution and economic systems. Simply put: Go-Go never sold out. There is a grit and texture to the music that gives voice to the communities where it was created." –Natalie Hopkinson


Go-Go Gallery Walk

The teacher or facilitator places the text and images throughout the room evenly to avoid congestion in one area. They can be placed on walls on their own or attached to chart paper for participants to write on.

When the images are ready, participants are instructed to either write comments on a post-it note and place it next to the image/text, or write on a piece of chart paper under the image. A question can be posed at the beginning of the gallery walk to focus participants on a specific aspect of the content. For example, “As you are walking around, think about where you see the impact of go-go in DC.” Participants are asked to walk around the space as though they were at an art gallery. There is no talking during the gallery walk. This gives participants a chance to reflect silently. Give participants 10-15 minutes to write down their thoughts. Allow more time if necessary.

Click here to download materials.

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Website developed by Teaching for Change with support from
the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities.

Image credits: Thomas Sayers Ellis