Sophomores Got it Covered

Through Whitfield’s English classes, students build character, purpose, and passion in an environment that prioritizes communication, connectivity, and innovative thinking. In English 10: The Assertion of Self, sophomores are finding their voices and building confidence through discussions, debates, and Socratic seminars. Through various projects and assignments, students are honing their perspectives and exploring different lenses through which to better understand the world in which they live.

For their recent project, Got It Covered, students used music as their lens. For the project, students analyzed the tone, mood, rhythm, and characteristics of an original song and a cover version. They evaluated the influence of time, place, and the artists’ life experiences. After identifying the differences between the original song and the cover version, students created a PowerPoint presentation to assert their analysis of the song versions. The presentations were given in class to an audience of their peers.

Faculty member Laura Lotz ‘95 created the project as a unique way to introduce students to writing literary analysis and to help them strengthen analytical, comprehension, and presentation skills and build their descriptive vocabulary.

“When I thought about what type of project we could do that would help students more clearly understand and thoughtfully articulate the difference between tone and mood in the short stories we are currently reading in class, I immediately thought of using music because it’s something that permeates their everyday life and that they are passionate about,” said Ms. Lotz. “Developmentally, many sophomores are still wrestling with the shift from concrete to abstract thinking—to understanding how diction and syntax shape meaning. Using music instead of just using a short story makes it a little more accessible.”

For Tia Sansone ’22, the Got It Covered project was fun and informative. “You wouldn’t think that music and English class necessarily go together but they really did with this project,” said Ms. Sansone. “We had to analyze the songs just like we analyze short stories. Our generation really connects with music, so this was a fun way to teach us about the difference between tone and mood as it applies to writing and what we are reading in class.”