In this lesson plan, we will explore the lives and careers of three iconic female singers: Tina Turner, Cher, and Shania Twain. We will learn about their backgrounds, achievements, challenges, and influences. We will also listen to some of their most popular songs and analyze the lyrics for their themes, messages, and styles.
- Introduction (10 minutes) a. Begin the lesson by asking students to share their understanding of the term “resilience.” b. Clarify the definition of resilience as the ability to bounce back from challenges, adapt to adversity, and persevere in the face of setbacks.
- Discussion: Why is Resilience Important? (15 minutes) a. Engage students in a class discussion on the importance of resilience in various aspects of life, such as personal relationships, academics, career, and emotional well-being. b. Prompt students with questions such as:
- How does resilience help individuals overcome obstacles?
- What are the benefits of developing resilience?
- Can you think of any real-life examples where resilience played a significant role in someone’s success or well-being?
Resilience plays a crucial role in pursuing personal and professional goals for several reasons.
Discuss the importance of these parts of resilience.
- Overcoming Obstacles:
- Building Inner Strength
- Sustaining Motivation:
- Learning from Failure
- Embracing Change:
- Inspiring Others:
- Introduction (15 minutes) a. Engage students by asking if they are familiar with Cher, Tina Turner, and Shania Twain. Have a brief discussion about their knowledge and perceptions of these artists. b. Introduce the objective of the lesson: to explore the difficulties these artists faced and how they overcame them. c. Explain the importance of resilience in pursuing personal and professional goals. See the points above.
- Biographical Overview (30 minutes) a. Provide students with biographical information about Cher, Tina Turner, and Shania Twain, including their early lives, careers, and significant achievements see text below.
- Case Studies: Overcoming Obstacles (45 minutes) a. Divide the class into three groups, assigning one artist to each group (Cher, Tina Turner, and Shania Twain). b. In their respective groups, students should conduct further research on their assigned artist’s specific challenges and the strategies they employed to overcome them. c. Each group presents their findings to the class, highlighting key moments of resilience and determination.
- Comparative Song Analysis (60 minutes) a. Select three songs by Cher, Tina Turner, and Shania Twain that reflect their personal struggles or triumphs (e.g., “Believe” by Cher, “What’s Love Got to Do with It” by Tina Turner, and “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!” by Shania Twain). b. Distribute the lyrics of the selected songs to the students and play the songs for them to listen to attentively. c. In small groups or individually, have students analyze the lyrics, the emotions conveyed, and the connection to the artists’ lives. d. Facilitate a class discussion comparing the songs, focusing on the artists’ resilience and how it is reflected in their music.
- Conclusion and Reflection (10 minutes) a. Summarize the main points discussed throughout the lesson, emphasizing the resilience of Cher, Tina Turner, and Shania Twain. b. Have students reflect individually or in small groups on what they have learned about overcoming obstacles and the importance of resilience. c. Encourage students to apply the lessons from these artists’ lives to their own challenges and goals.
Tina Turner is an American-born Swiss singer, songwriter, dancer, and actress. She is known for her powerful voice, energetic performances, and longevity in the music industry. She rose to fame in the 1960s with her then-husband Ike Turner as a duo called Ike & Tina Turner Revue. They had a string of hits such as “Proud Mary”, “River Deep – Mountain High”, and “Nutbush City Limits”. However, their relationship was abusive and Tina left Ike in 1976. She launched a successful solo career in the 1980s with albums like Private Dancer and Break Every Rule. She is one of the best-selling recording artists of all time and has won 12 Grammy Awards. She is also known for her roles in films such as Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome and What’s Love Got to Do with It. She retired from performing in 2009 and became a Swiss citizen in 2013. The iconic singer had a lonely childhood and suffered horrific emotional and physical abuse at the hands of her ex-husband, Ike Turner. At one of her most desperate moments, Turner swallowed 50 sleeping pills to escape the marriage. “The silver lining was that through the hardships and heartbreaks, I discovered within me a strength that I could survive even the worst situations,” Turner, Remember that happiness is an inside job. Just think about how your ego knows exactly where your weak spots are and how to tempt you into dwelling on them.
Cher is an American singer, actress, and television personality. She is often called the Goddess of Pop for her influence on popular culture and her ability to reinvent herself over six decades. She began her career as a backup singer and then formed a duo with her then-husband Sonny Bono in the 1960s. They had a popular TV show called The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour and hits such as “I Got You Babe” and “The Beat Goes On”. She is one of the few artists who have won an Oscar, a Grammy, an Emmy, and a Golden Globe. Cher has both dyslexia and dyscalculia. In school, she struggled with reading and with making sense of numbers. Her learning differences didn’t keep her from pursuing her passions, however. And they’ve led her to one of her latest roles: as an outspoken advocate for kids with learning and thinking differences. Cher has said she is “amazed” that she and others successfully relocated Kaavan the “world’s loneliest elephant,” from a Pakistani zoo to a wildlife sanctuary in Cambodia. The 74-year-old US singer told BBC World News she got involved in the campaign because “my Twitter followers kept bothering me about Save Kaavan.
Shania Twain is a Canadian singer and songwriter. She is known as the Queen of Country Pop for her fusion of country and pop music. She started singing at an early age and performed in various bands and clubs. She signed with Mercury Nashville Records in 1993 and released her self-titled debut album. Her breakthrough came with her second album. Born in Windsor, Canada, her childhood was tough. She recalls her parents being unable to afford food and “the humiliation of going to school dirty because we didn’t have water”. “It took a lot of mental management to keep your chin up and function without letting it shut you down.” There was violence at home, too. In her autobiography, Twain recalled a night when her mother’s second husband knocked his wife unconscious then tried to drown her in the toilet. Twain grabbed a chair and smashed it across his back. He punched her in the jaw. She retaliated. At the time, she was 11 years old. “Thank God for music, because I was literally able to escape my reality,” she says.
- What are some similarities and differences between Tina Turner, Cher, and Shania Twain in terms of their musical genres, styles, influences, and audiences?
- How did each singer overcome personal or professional challenges in their life? Give examples from their biographies or lyrics.
- What are some of the themes or messages that each singer conveys through their songs? How do they relate to their own experiences or social issues?
- Choose one song from each singer and analyze its lyrics for its meaning, tone, mood, imagery, figurative language, rhyme scheme, etc.
- Write an essay comparing and contrasting two singers of your choice based on their musical achievements, contributions, legacy, or impact.
- Tina Turner: “What’s Love Got to Do with It” – This song is about Turner’s struggles with love and relationships.
- Cher: “Believe” – This song is about Cher’s ability to overcome heartbreak and find love again.
- Shania Twain: “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!” – This song is about Twain’s journey to becoming a successful musician and overcoming gender stereotypes in the music industry.
Tina Turner: “What’s Love Got to Do with It”
This song was released in 1984 as the lead single from Turner’s fifth solo album, Private Dancer. It was a huge hit, reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and winning three Grammy Awards. The song is about Turner’s struggles with love and relationships, especially her abusive marriage to Ike Turner, which she ended in 1978. In the song, she questions the relevance of love in her life, and asserts her independence and self-reliance. She sings, “What’s love but a second-hand emotion? / What’s love got to do, got to do with it? / Who needs a heart when a heart can be broken?” The song reflects Turner’s empowerment and resilience after escaping from a toxic relationship.
This song was released in 1998 as the lead single from Cher’s twenty-second studio album, Believe. It was a global phenomenon, becoming the best-selling single of 1999 and one of the best-selling singles of all time. It also won a Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording. The song is about Cher’s ability to overcome heartbreak and find love again. She sings, “Do you believe in life after love? / I can feel something inside me say / I really don’t think you’re strong enough.” The song uses a distinctive vocal effect called Auto-Tune, which creates a robotic sound. This effect was used to convey Cher’s emotional detachment and vulnerability, as well as her futuristic and innovative style.
Shania Twain: “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!”
This song was released in 1999 as the third single from Twain’s third studio album, Come On Over. It was a smash hit, reaching the top ten in several countries and winning a Grammy Award for Best Female Country Vocal Performance. The song is about Twain’s journey to becoming a successful musician and overcoming gender stereotypes in the music industry. She sings, “The best thing about being a woman / Is the prerogative to have a little fun / And… / Oh, oh, oh, go totally crazy / Forget I’m a lady / Men’s shirts, short skirts / Oh, oh, oh, really go wild / Yeah, doin’ it in style.” The song celebrates Twain’s femininity and confidence, as well as her ability to challenge the norms and expectations of her genre.
These three songs are examples of how female artists use music to express their personal stories and perspectives. They also show how music can inspire and empower listeners who relate to their messages. These songs are timeless classics that have influenced many generations of women and music lovers.