Olivia Rodrigo is a talented American singer, songwriter, and actress who rose to prominence in the music industry at a young age. As teachers, using her music in the classroom can be a fun, innovative way to engage with students.
Below is a lesson plan using the music of Olivia Rodrigo. Use this sample outline to highlight everything from lyrics and themes, to emotions, musical techniques, and much more.
Lesson Plan: Exploring the Music of Olivia Rodrigo
- Learn about Olivia Rodrigo’s background and rise to fame
- Analyze the lyrics and themes in Olivia Rodrigo’s songs
- Discuss the impact of Olivia Rodrigo’s music on today’s youth
- Encourage students to express their own thoughts and emotions through music
- Internet access or pre-printed articles about Olivia Rodrigo
- Computer or projector for sharing music videos and lyrics
- Paper and pens for note-taking and discussion
Warm-up (10 minutes):
- Ask students if they have heard of Olivia Rodrigo and if they can name any of her songs.
- Play a popular Olivia Rodrigo song to get students familiar with her sound.
- As a class, discuss their initial impressions of Olivia Rodrigo’s music.
- Give a brief background on Olivia Rodrigo, including her early career, breakthrough role in “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series,” and her chart-topping debut single “drivers license.”
- Show a few clips of Olivia Rodrigo’s performances, music videos, or interviews to engage students.
Introduction (10 minutes):
Analyzing Olivia Rodrigo’s Lyrics (20 minutes):
- Divide the students into small groups and assign each group one of Olivia Rodrigo’s songs.
- Ask each group to read and analyze the lyrics of their assigned song, focusing on the themes, emotions, and messages conveyed.
- Have each group present their analysis to the class, discussing the lyrics and what they interpret from them.
Discussing the Impact (15 minutes):
- Facilitate a class discussion on the impact of Olivia Rodrigo’s music on today’s youth.
- Prompt students to share their own experiences and how they relate to Olivia Rodrigo’s songs.
- Discuss the positive and negative aspects of identifying with emotionally charged music.
Personal Expression Activity (15 minutes):
- Have students reflect on their own emotions and experiences.
- Ask them to write a short poem or song lyrics inspired by Olivia Rodrigo’s music or their own experiences.
- Encourage students to share their creations with the class, fostering creativity and self-expression.
Conclusion (5 minutes):
- Recap the key points discussed during the lesson, including Olivia Rodrigo’s background, the analysis of her lyrics, and the impact of her music on youth.
- Encourage students to continue exploring different genres and artists, using music as a means of self-expression and connection.
- Assign students to write a reflective essay on the influence of music in their lives, drawing on concepts discussed during the lesson and including references to Olivia Rodrigo’s music.
About Olivia Rodrigo
Olivia Rodrigo began her career as an actress, gaining recognition for her role as Paige Olvera in the Disney Channel series “Bizaardvark.” However, it was her breakthrough role as Nini Salazar-Roberts in the Disney+ series “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series” that thrust her into the spotlight.
In January 2021, Olivia Rodrigo released her debut single, “drivers license,” which quickly became a massive hit worldwide. The song’s heartfelt lyrics and Rodrigo’s stunning vocal performance resonated with audiences, catapulting her to overnight success. “drivers license” topped multiple charts and broke numerous streaming records, solidifying Olivia Rodrigo’s status as a rising star.
Following the success of “drivers license,” Rodrigo released her highly anticipated debut album, “Sour,” in May 2021. The album showcases her songwriting skills and explores themes of heartbreak, self-discovery, and teenage emotions. Tracks like “good 4 u” and “deja vu” further established Rodrigo as a versatile artist with a distinct musical style that blends alternative pop, rock, and indie influences.
Beyond her musical endeavors, Olivia Rodrigo is known for her authenticity, relatability, and empowering presence. Her music resonates with a generation of young listeners who connect deeply with her honest and vulnerable lyrics that reflect the ups and downs of adolescence.
Despite her relatively young age, Olivia Rodrigo has already achieved remarkable success and has become a prominent figure in popular culture. Her talent, passion, and ability to connect with her audience make her an artist to watch as she continues to make waves in the music industry.