Teaching Tolerance: Music and Movements Matter

Before I begin, I must caution you: This post is for those 12 and up, questioning societal issues!!

I overheard some students discussing their rights to protest during their extracurricular events. I didn't reprimand them, because
(1) I was eavesdropping and what I heard wasn't dangerous;
(2) it's ingrained in my librarian soul for students to exercise their rights to "intellectual freedom," SAFELY; and
(3) I was on my way home for the evening. My mind blocked me from educator role; it was focused on leftover, homemade Swedish meatballs! Lol!

Nevertheless, I kept tossing and turning that night in bed because I wondered if those students acted on their feelings...and HOW! Before I knew it, I jumped out of my bed looking for resources. I had to teach them how to organize their thoughts and release their emotions in a productive way.

In my midnight scurry, I pop outta bed and hurried then obsessively buried my thoughts in Teaching Tolerance's The Sounds of Change.(That was a descriptive "Edgar Allan Poe" type sentence.)

Please enjoy this SWAY presentation I created, as it includes excerpts from Teaching Tolerance's lesson:

Going back to my restless night storytelling...before long, I had a hook: What do the musicians Beyonce, The Black Eye Peas (TBEP), and Michael Jackson have in common? Or this little diddy: What does a platform, music and sit-ins have in common? (Answer: ways to protest.)

I wanted to include Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Sting and David Bowie in my initial "get started" light-bulb idea...but my student audience doesn't have a point of reference for those megastars like I do! Lol!

Let's begin with The Black Eyed Peas' Where is the Love? Be sure to click on that link because there are ways you can donate to the blights on our global community.

Within the Sway I have posted, the lyrics of the song are examined closely to get at the heart of the message: searching amiss global tragedies for love. Check out most of the lyrics below, as there're a thousand different directions the discussion topics could branch out into using the Socratic Method.

Isn't it amazing how lyricist, artists, comedians, etc. capture moments so poignantly? Here's Will.I.Am (artist/group member of The Black Eyed Peas) explaining why he/TBEP decided to remake their hit song in 2016:

ON A FINAL NOTE: Our humanity cries out in a despair like no other. We all are watching. Well all bits of the world...bits of matter. So many of us want to take action...via song, protest, defense or exile. The safest and most effective act (in the long run) is love! We must erase the horrors of yesterday, tomorrow and eternity. Absolutely. But if you must do, then do acts of empathy now!
To my students--hang on to love, all forms of it and in every way. Love for your educators, friends and strangers you haven't met. I pledge to give it to you. Share it with others, always. Let love be found with you. Peace!

P.S. Let's make these tears stop...


  1. Love this Jean -- love the format and the sentiments!! Thanks!

    1. Aww, thank you! Your comment just made my morning! Be well, my friend! :)

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