When I was in the eighth grade, my teacher Mr. McCauley brought in a record: Paul Simon's “I am a Rock.” He played it and we analyzed the lyrics as poetry. The excitement of getting to listen to popular music (at the time, Simon & Garfunkel were huge) during class electrified the whole room. The power of metaphor hit me that day and stayed with me forever. My newest book, Guitar Notes, is a novel about the power of songwriting and I wrote and recorded songs that accompany the book, a project that had its inspiration way back in Mr. McCauley's class.
Here's what you can do. Bring in a current song, print out the lyrics or have them up on your smartboard. Listen to the song and then talk about what literary elements the songwriter used and why. I have two ready-to-use resources to share from my new book's website. One is a lesson plan in song revision; and the other, in case you want to follow up by encouraging your students to write their own songs, is a songwriting lesson. Rock on!