Social 10: Pop Culture Playlists

As we talk about the rise and prominence of pop culture it’s difficult to imagine discussing pop culture–or our lives–without some kind of soundtrack.

A well-placed song is the difference between a wrestler hyping up a crowd or just awkwardly ambling down to the ring. At the start of Thor Ragnarok music from Led Zeppelin blares as Thor battles Surtur…imagine how differently that scene would play if opera was used instead. We use musical cues to denote all sorts of things.

Your task is to create two distinct playlists that do two distinct things.

Playlist 1 – It’s My Life

Your first playlist must reflect at least five distinct periods in your life and be comprised of 15 (or more) songs with an accompanying explanation of your choices – what do these songs say about you and the period of your life? Why are you drawn to these songs?

Ideas for significance:

  • being born
  • losing someone important in your life, through moving away or otherwise
  • winning a sports championship
  • starting a new hobby
  • making a new friend

Playlist 2 – Ahead By A Century

Your second playlist is less personal – you must choose one and only one song to represent each decade of the past century, starting in the 1920s and ending with the 2010s. Your explanation must include why that one song represents the decade better than all others.

Ideas for significance:

  • The song is the best song about a prominent world event like the Vietnam War
  • This song was the first major song in a genre or best encapsulates the genre
  • The song was prominently featured in a commercial, film, or similar campaign that defined the era
  • It represents themes or ideas that are important ie. antiracism

Your playlists may be constructed using Spotify, Apple Music, or YouTube.

Your playlists will be briefly presented. At the end of the presentations a reflection will also be submitted.


1.2 appreciate why peoples in Canada and other locations strive to promote their cultures, languages
and identities in a globalizing world (I, CC, GC)
1.3 appreciate how identities and cultures shape, and are shaped by, globalization (I, CC, GC)

1.4 explore ways in which individuals and collectives express identities (traditions, language, religion,
spirituality, the arts, attire, relationship to land, ideological beliefs, role modelling)

1.9 evaluate efforts to promote languages and cultures in a globalizing world (language laws, linguistic
rights, cultural content legislation, cultural revitalization, linguistic revitalization)

Mr. McIntosh

Teacher - Humanities

In a typical year I teach a range of courses from elementary to high school. I am our school's Social Studies specialist, teaching high school social, as well as a member of the PE team.

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