Folklife Teaching Materials

Teaching Folklife: Educational Materials for Students and Teachers.  This classroom aid contains lesson plans “designed to introduce teachers and students to a basic understanding of traditional culture in Tennessee.”  It was compiled by Hayden Roberts when he served as TAC Director of Arts in Education in 2000.  Though some materials will also relate to other levels and subjects, the plans are most useful for fourth through seventh grade social studies. The readings and resources were brought together from a wide variety of sources.  Some sections have been updated and revised.

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The Fisk Singers:  Singing our Song.  A joint project of the TAC Arts Access and Folklife Programs, this publication contains lesson plans about African-American spirituals and the Tennessee vocal group that made them famous.  It was produced as part of the TAC’s 2007 American Masterpieces grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.  The lesson plans were part of a teacher’s kit including an enhanced audio CD and specially-edited DVD, and lessons make use of content from these AV materials.  Some free copies of the full teacher’s kit are still available to Tennessee schools and teachers.  To request a copy, click here.  Other users of the lesson plans will be able to separately acquire a copy of the CD, The Fisk Jubilee Singers: In Bright Mansions (Curb D2-78762) for their use in the classroom.

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Tradition:  Tennessee Lives and Legacies Teacher’s Guide, by Folklife Program Assistant Dana Everts-Boehm, was designed to accompany the exhibition of the same name touring Tennessee venues from 2010-2013.  Designed in two sections for grades 3-6 and 12, the guide prepares students to visit the exhibition through learning about a selection of six artists featured in the book and exhibit.  The lessons, accompanied by Tennessee state curriculum standards, are brought home to the students through a follow-up family heritage project.  Dean Dixon’s photographs are included in a DVD featuring images of all twenty-five artists and groups in the book and exhibition.   To request a hard copy, click here, or download at:

download Tradition:  Tennessee Lives and Legacies Teacher’s Guide