Songs For Our Times is a lesson plan, and online resource that teaching artists can use to help students respond to this exciting question:
"What do songs say about the time in which they were created?"
The resource is free, and has been made available in a text-only version, and an enhanced version that uses Flash video. The multimedia version is first rate--colorful, musical and fun. More details and a link to the lesson plan are below:
Songs express what people think and feel, even as they introduce people, places and events. In this activity, you can explore the past through songs of the time. You can consider why the songs were written and what they tell you about life and beliefs during previous eras. Then, you can rewrite the songs for our times, reflecting the events, places, people, feelings and perspectives of today.
A printable version of the teaching instructions can be found here.