Joquetta Johnson is setting up the room for her presentation at METC.

Rappers usually have an audience made up of fans. But teachers that use hip hop in the classroom have an audience of students. Joquetta Johnson will be a featured speaker at the METC conference that runs Feb. 14-15.

She will be speaking at 1 p.m. on Tuesday a session titled “Let’s Rap, Using Hip-Hop.” She uses the music as a pedigree and as a tool to cultivate student achievement in the school library.

“I started in 1994 and I didn’t know that hip-hop pedigree was a way of teaching,” Johnson said.

She was in a library and saw Tupac’s book with his poetry.

“Once I read Tupac’s poetry, I realized I could connect this to the unit we are on.”

The classes Johnson taught read the book “The Rose That Grew From Concrete” by Tupac Shakur to engage the students and help them understand their lesson by relating it so something common.

“For Black History Month we have hip-hop day in the library, and we analyze primary and secondary sources to research the history of hip-hop,” Johnson said. “So students can see how hip-hop has contributed to their areas in life, and it is not only music, but it is also a culture.”

Johnson also brings in lyricists to help kids connect reading, writing and research to the part of hip-hop.

“Hip-hop as a culture touches everybody regardless of race, and everyone knows something about it, and it’s one of those things that connects everybody,” Johnson said.

Johnson is also scheduled to present “If You Give a Librarian a Device” on Tuesday at 2:20 p.m. in D1, and will also be presenting two sessions on Wednesday: “Using Evidence Based Practices” at 9:45 a.m. in Jr. D, and “PASSION for the Profession” in Jr. A, B, C as the featured speaker during the Library & Media Literacy Luncheon from noon to 2 p.m.


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