Cultural Fusions/Just the Facts: Black Violin

What kind of music do you like?
What kind of music is classical, jazz, reggae and hip hop?

We are going to listen to some music of hip hop violinists Black Violin from Florida. Kev Marcus plays the violin and Wil B. plays the viola. Their three albums combine classical, jazz, reggae and hip hop musical traditions.

Read the group’s biography:

and watch some video performances, also available on their website.

Here’s an example music review in the Time Out New York.

Write a music review: 

Post your paragraph as a comment on this blog post.  Be sure to title it with your group number.

Group 1: Introduction
A. Name of musician/band:
B. Name of song/CD:
C. Type of music:
D. Overall impressions:
Group 2: Musician/Band Background
A. List of participating musicians and instruments used:
B. Background (How long have they been around? Are they well known in the music scene?):
C. Previously released CDs or songs:
D. How does this CD or song compare to others by this group or artist?
Group 3: Song/CD
A. Explain the meaning of the song or CD:
B. Quote some lyrics:
C. Explain how the song is a reflection of the musician or band:
Group 4: Impressions and Opinions
A. Impressions after thorough listening (justify your opinion):
B. Unique elements of the song or CD:
C. Comparison to another band, song, or artist:
Group 5: Overall rating and final comments
A. Rate on a scale of 1-10 or give a letter grade:
B. Will fans be happy or disappointed?
C. Concluding comments:

Sample Musical Genres:

Define each genre of music (classical, reggae, jazz, and hip hop) and find a song that you like that is a good example. Post the link, the title, the genre definition and why you like.


Cultural Fusions: Tracking Traditions

Choose one of the four traditions to explore.  Follow the suggested video links and websites.

Then create a document that 1) describes the tradition today, 2) summarizes its history, 3) includes pictures and video, 4) lists sources, 5) email it to, and 6) share it with everyone.


Vampire Myths

Vampire Bats

Vampire Moths




Find the Christian significance of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 17, 25, 27, 28, 29, 30, 40

Find the Chinese signifcance of 4, 8

Who said 42 is the answer to life, the universe and everything?


Culture, folklore and mythology

Botanical information



Leprechaun Stereotypes

National Leprechaun Museum


Cultural Fusions: Discovering Tea

In China, the tea ceremony is part of the traditional Chinese wedding. Lotus seeds and two red dates are also put in the tea to wish the newlyweds happiness and children.

Watch a Chinese tea ceremony.

In Japan, the tea ceremony was used by Buddhist monks as a form of meditation.

Watch a recent Japanese tea ceremony at Sapporo University.

1) Make three observations about the differences:

Read the first four paragraphs of The Origin of Tea in Asian Countries to answer the following questions.

2) What is the botanical name for the tea plant?

3) Name and describe the three different types of tea.

4) List five health benefits of drinking tea.

Continue to reading to find the Japanese terms for the following words: teahouse, straw mat, small entrance, preparation room, tea scoop, bowl, whisk, and cloth for wiping bowl. Use these words to complete the crossword puzzle and word search.

5) Crossword Puzzle: Fill in the Japanese words for each term!


3. straw mat

5. teahouse

8. small entrance


1. tea scoop

2. bowl

4. cloth

6. preparation room

7. whisk

6) Word Search







7) Be sure to have some tea with Ms. Melanie!