Tom Petty (1950-2017) was an award-winning American musician and lyricist long associated with cannabis and other drugs. This lesson revolves around Tom Petty’s song You Don’t Know How it Feels (1994), which provides a rich opportunity to build drug literacy while exploring the connections between experiences, relationships, emotions, thoughts and actions.
The song, with its reference to rolling a joint and sharing it with friends, sparked controversy at the time. This provides an opportunity to explore issues like censorship and artistic freedom. And the history of Tom Petty and his long-time band, the Heartbreakers, provides further opportunity to explore the impacts drug use can have on life, work and relationships.
In each case, the use of dialogue rather than the transmission of the “right message” is likely to lead to greater understanding. The instructional strategies provided are examples of how this could be achieved.
English Language Arts 8/9
Language and text can be a source of creativity and joy
Exploring stories and other texts helps us understand ourselves and make connections to others and to the world
Texts are socially, culturally, and historically constructed
Questioning what we hear, read, and view contributes to our ability to be educated and engaged citizens
Access information and ideas for diverse purposes and from a variety of sources and evaluate their relevance, accuracy, and reliability
Apply appropriate strategies to comprehend written, oral, and visual texts, guide inquiry, and extend thinking
Synthesize ideas from a variety of sources to build understanding
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
Exchange ideas and viewpoints to build shared understanding and extend thinking
Use writing and design processes to plan, develop, and create engaging and meaningful literary and informational texts for a variety of purposes and audiences
Assess and refine texts to improve their clarity, effectiveness, and impact according to purpose, audience, and message
Transform ideas and information to create original texts
This license allows you to download and share this resource (copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format)
and adapt this resource (remix, transform, and build upon the work) for non-commercial purposes.
You must credit the creator of the resource and and license your new creations under the same license as the original.