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Hip-Hop Star Visits High School to Help Kids Learn to Love Literature

New Jersey teacher Brian Mooney scored big when he invited a very special guest lecturer to class.

It’s important to teach the classics in an English classroom, but sometimes it’s even more important to find material that students can connect to. Brian Mooney, a New Jersey high school teacher, decided to take on this challenge by incorporating hip-hop into his lesson plans. A blog post he made about one of these lessons made its way to rapper Kendrick Lamar who was so inspired he made a visit to the school. Mooney found that with the student body becoming more and more diverse, studying texts written by “old dead white men” was becoming less effective, and was causing students to lose focus because they felt underrepresented in the material. Lamar’s visit gave the students a new way to connect to literature through something they felt more connected to—hip-hop. NPR put together a video about the class visit the students will remember for the rest of their lives.


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