Last week, we did a unit on voice, part of the 6 + 1 Traits of writing. Andrea, it's your favorite topic. No, they're not called the 7 Traits of writing; 6 + 1, remember? So, in order to understand voice, which is more or less the way (tone and word choice) the writer uses to write something, I brought in music. I asked if students ever turned on the radio, without any prior knowledge to the song playing, and knew who was performing it.
This is where my cover project came in. Sort of. So in order to understand voice and how no two people will ever write the same paper because of it, I made a cd of three different songs, performed by several different people. My playlist is as follows. I will say, that when we got to Rufus Wainwright's version of "Hallelujah," they were quite impressed that I was aware of current music and movies, since that version was on Shrek 3 or 10 (I don't remember which). They also loved that not only did I know who Britney Spears was, but I had awesome covers of her music and they liked that I loved The Beatles. I know, I just all around rock.
"Across the Universe"
"Baby One More Time"
Oh, and my students wanted to know if Fiona Apple was like Britney Spears. This is exactly how I described Fiona Apple: "She's kind of a crazy woman. And I don't mean crazy as in 'rock and roll crazy.' I mean crazy as in 'the old woman that shuts herself up in her apartment with 15 cats.' "