'60s History Through Music

You'll never forget that day in 1965 when Shmoop went electric.

Get ready to tune in, turn on, and drop out—we're going back to the 1960s. This course will teach you about the history and political movements of the days of hippies and Vietnam—not through statistics or Supreme Court cases, but through popular music.

The '60s gave us (and your grandparents) some of the most memorable hooks and biggest stars in rock 'n roll history, and we'll use these tunes to explore everything from the Civil Rights Movement to the death knell of Haight-Ashbury. And much like the Beatles, the activities in this course are here to please all types of learners, from the John Lennon-style expository writers, to the primary source-collecting George Harrisons, to more visual and creatively minded Pauls and Ringos.

The best part? In addition to all these rigorous history lessons, you'll get a chance to learn the stories behind some of your favorite classic rock songs and learn lots of new ones along the way.

In this course, aligned to 11th grade history and informational reading standards, you'll

  • analyze song lyrics like an 11th grade history teacher and a Rolling Stone journalist combined.
  • watch powerful historical clips and musical performances.
  • interpret how pop music represents cultural ideals, both good and bad.
  • finally "get" what baby boomers are talking about when they wax poetic on how Katy Perry will never be as good as 1969 rock 'n roll.

So what are you waiting for? Give Shmoop—uh, we mean peace—a chance.

Unit Breakdown

  1. '60s History Through Music - '60s History Through Music

    The 1960s were a time of incredible, volatile change, and luckily it's pretty much perfectly captured in the music of the times. Luckier yet? Shmoop's here with a project-based, rigorous, and crazily high-interest course on everything from George Wallace to Kinks' B-sides. (Uh…one being way cooler than the other.)

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