Teach PA History
Explore PA History
A New ‘Twist" on Race Relations
What to Know
Teaching Time
Two 50-minute Class Periods
Grade Level
Middle School
  • Arts and Humanities
  • Civics and Government
  • Geography
  • History
Historical Period
  • Post-WWII Pennsylvania - 1946-1974
By the late 1950s, Philadelphia had become the hub of the music industry. With the national debut of the hit television show American Bandstand, the city was indeed the capital of teenage music. As the Civil Rights Movement gained momentum, teens tuned into the show daily and watched nonviolent integration in action right on their television sets - black and white kids their age dancing and having fun together on the same dance floor. In this lesson, students will explore the impact of television and rock and roll on promoting racial equality. Prior knowledge on the Civil Rights era, especially events from the 1950s, will be helpful.


1. Analyze the impact of American Bandstand on the success of performers who appeared on the show. 2. Locate and categorize pivotal events during the Civil Rights and early Rock and Roll eras. 3. Evaluate the role of television and rock and roll in promoting racial equality. 4. Investigate the influence of music on social and political thought while designing a unique compilation of rock and roll songs.

Standards Alignment

  • Arts and Humanities

    9.4.12. B. Describe and analyze the effects that works in the arts have on groups, individuals, and the culture.

  • Civics and Government

    5.3.6. J. Describe the influence of media in reporting issues.

  • Geography

    7.1.6. B. Describe and locate places and regions.
    7.3.6. E. Describe the significance of human activity in shaping places and regions by their political characteristics.
    7.3.6.B. Describe the human characteristics of places and regions by their cultural characteristics.

  • History

    8.1.6. B. Explain and analyze historical sources.
    8.1.6. C. Explain the fundamentals of historical interpretation.
    8.1.6. D. Describe and explain historical research.
    8.2.6. A. Identifies political and cultural contributions of individuals to Pennsylvania history
    8.2.6. B. Identify and explain primary documents, material artifacts and historic sites important in Pennsylvania history from Beginnings to 1824
    8.2.6 D. Identifies conflicts and cooperation among social groups and organizations in Pennsylvania history from beginnings to 1824
    8.3.6. A. Identify and explain the political and cultural contributions of individuals and groups to United States history from Beginnings to 1824
    8.3.6. C. Explain how continuity and change has influenced United States history.
    8.3.6. D. Identify conflict and cooperation among groups.

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