The Break BEAT

Looking to leverage student interest in hip hop to improve their language skills in your classroom?

After five years of teaching hip hop in the English classroom in the Bronx, I’ve developed curriculum materials that can:

  1. Bullet provide students with the lexicon to analyze poetry effectively

  2. Bullet create annotation skills that aid in deciphering non-fiction texts for the college-bound learner

  3. Bullet develop writing skills that demystify the writing assessments commonly found in high stakes testing

“The thing about hip-hop is that it's from the underground, ideas from the underbelly, from people who have mostly been locked out.”
Russell Simmons
Hip Hop For English Teachers

Why the Rec Room?  The birthplace of hip hop was the recreation room in Kool Herc’s building on Sedgewick and Cedar in the South Bronx.  It was here that DJs began splicing the break beat into the songs to maintain the excitement of the crowd.  Bronx Community High School was housed down the street from this birthplace Rec Room. Bronx Community High School remains the lab that I am continually experimenting in as I discover ways to bring the break beat into the English classroom.