When the Beat Was Born: DJ Kool Herc and the Creation of Hip Hop

When the Beat Was Born: DJ Kool Herc and the Creation of Hip Hop

Publisher: Roaring Book Press                                                               Publication date: 08/27/2013

Pages: 32                                                                                                                       Delivery: Read Aloud

Lexie: AD910L                                                                                                        Age Range: 6 – 10 Years

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Readers Theater – This link brings teachers to a pre-written script for Reader’s Theater of When the Beat Was Born.
Song Writing – This website is an exciting tool to help anyone create your very own hip-hop song. They give the readers different beats they can use as well as examples of some lyrics.


  • Key Vocabulary
    • Twang – sharp, nasal tone of voice
    • Breakdancing  – is a style of street dance that originated among African American and Puerto Rican youths in New York City during the early 1980s.
    • Turntable – the rotating disk that spins the record on a phonograph.
    • Jiving – playing swing music or jazz
    • Slick – efficient; smooth; polished
  • Before Reading:
    • Guest Speaker – This would be a very interesting topic to have a guest speaker come into the classroom and talk to students about how music is made and how it has changed over time.
  • During Reading:
    • Choral Reading – Since this nook is filled with the rhythm of Hip Hip, it would be very fun to keep students engaged by conducting a Choral Reading.
  • After Reading:
    • Reader’s Theater – this is a great way to get students involved with the text and is also a great tool for booting comprehension of the material.

Writing Activity:

  • Little Clive originally grew up in Jamaica, but than moved to New York, but was scared that he would’t like the change of pace and culture. Have students find illustrations in the text that show these two different places and then have students reflect on what aspects of these two cultures helped in the creation of Hip Hop.



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