Lesson Plan Topic: Super Bowl Halftime Show History


10 years ago, we never could have guessed that we would be referencing things such as tweets in official news stories. Yet, here we are. Social media has developed into a firestorm that has has turned politics, news, and pop-culture into a 24/7 business, creating every interaction into an opportunity to voice our political opinions, social views, and just our everyday musings.

It’s no wonder that the Super Bowl halftime show has evolved into a massive social media opportunity over the last 10 years. While it was rare that controversy eluded the spectacle, over the years, the buzz surrounding the halftime show has progressed from wardrobe malfunctions and surprise artists, to political statements and protests hidden (or, not-so-hidden) among the glamour and entertainment. From costumes that made a political statement, to specific song-choice picked to make us think and feel something profound, the Super Bowl halftime show has become a sort of mirror of our current society and a projection of what’s to come.

To dive into Super Bowl halftime shows of the past, check out our lesson this week, which encourages students to research previous halftime shows and the political/social climate they were born from, and the lasting impact the shows have had on our thoughts, beliefs, and even our way of life.


Lesson Plan Topic: Super Bowl Halftime Show History

Objective: Students will analyze past Super Bowl halftime shows and their political/social implications/connections to that time period.

Standards: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.2.1; CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.2.2

Reading level: Fluent/Advanced.

**Standards retrieved from http://www.corestandards.org

Preface/Teacher Notes: The Super Bowl halftime show is always one of the most anticipated events of the year. From which artist is chosen to headline the spectacle, to what they might wear/say/do. The past 10 years have seen some history-making halftime shows that have made people question political affiliations, social movements, and national/international events. Add the massive growth of social media into the mix, and you’ve got a political/pop culture firestorm!

Essential Question (s): How did political/social events impact certain halftime show performances? In what ways have halftime shows shaped political/social dialogue after the performances? Do professional athletes/actors/performers have a responsibility to use their spotlight to make political/social statements? Do famous individuals help or hurt the various causes they’ve spoken out about? Could it be both? Have halftime shows become more and more about making statements over the last years?

**Students can use the Super Bowl Halftime Show History collection


**Students can also search Choosito Web to further their research on the essential questions!

Step 1: Students will choose some halftime shows and research the important social/political events/dialogue that was happening during those chosen time periods. They will then look specifically at the previous halftime shows and identify possible social/political statements made either through wardrobe, song choice, etc.

Step 2: Students will then research the dialogue/consequences/aftermath of the various halftime shows.

Step 3 (tying it all together): Students will present the following to the class:

-Their chosen halftime show performances and why they picked them.

-Explain how they feel political/social events impacted those halftime show performances.

-In what ways the halftime shows shaped the dialogue and social/political landscape afterwards.

-Provide their opinion (citing evidence to support their opinion) as to whether or not athletes/actors/performers have a responsibility to use their spotlight to make political/social statements

-Have halftime shows become more and more about making statements over the years?

Students can present the information to their peers using the following suggestions:



-Oral presentation with visual aid

-A live newscast (in front of the class, video recording, or audio recording).

Bonus: Students will choose a hot political or social topic they recognize in their school, community, and/or across the world/nation and will brainstorm how they would address (appropriately) those topics if they were to plan/perform their very own halftime show.