Folk musician Sixto Rodriguez (aka Rodriguez, Jesus Rodriguez, and Sugar Man) is the sixth son of Mexican immigrants who moved to the American midwest for work in the 1920s. Many of Rodriguez’s songs, including “Cause” (the last song he ever recorded before being dropped from his record label in December 1971), reflect the struggles of the marginalized inner-city poor who often used alcohol and other drugs to cope with harsh conditions. This lesson plan invites students to listen to two of his songs and reflect on some of the themes that are talked about in the songs, including the challenges of immigrating to a new country as well as the use of drugs and alcohol.
Links to Curriculum
First Peoples’ principles of learning
• Learning ultimately supports the well-being of the self, the family, the community, the land, the spirits, and the ancestors
• Learning is holistic, reflexive, reflective, experiential, and relational (focused on connectedness, on reciprocal relationships, and a sense of place)
• Learning is embedded in memory, history and story
English Language Arts 9 Big ideas
• Language and story can be a source of creativity and joy
• Exploring stories and other texts helps us understand ourselves and make connections to others and the
• Questioning what we hear, read and view contributes to our ability to be educated and engaged citizens
• Apply appropriate strategies to comprehend written, oral and visual texts, guide inquiry, and extend thinking
• Think critically, creatively and reflectively to explore ideas within, between and beyond texts
• Recognize and identify the role of personal, social and cultural contexts, values and perspectives in texts
• Construct meaningful personal connections between self, text and world
• Respond to text in personal, creative and critical ways
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