The Banjo Project

The From Nothing to Something Banjo Project consists of three lessons designed to guide 5th grade students to learn about the cultural and traditional origins of the banjo in Africa, how it made its way to the Americas, the concept of cultural appropriation, and the essential parts of these instruments.

Lesson 1: Origins of the Banjo

The purpose of this lesson is to learn about the cultural and traditional origins of the banjo in Africa, and how it made its way to the Americas.

Banjo Lesson 1 Activity
In this activity, students develop an understanding of how many African traditions were brought to the Americas.

Lesson 2: American Banjo Traditions

The purpose of this lesson is to introduce the concept of cultural appropriation and apply that knowledge to the history of the banjo in America.

Banjo Lesson 2 Activity
In this activity, students compare the variety of banjo types and the musical styles where they often appear.

Lesson 3: The Modern Banjo

The purpose of this lesson is to guide students in analyzing the different parts and functions of the modern banjo as it is played today.

Banjo Lesson 3 Activity
In this activity, students compare instruments to discover commonalities among them.