Bay Breeze
Educational Resources

Visit the NBC American Dreams Site


Who's Who

American Dreams
& the 60s

A Soldier's Letters

Create a 60s Mural

Create an American Dreams Talk Show

Compare Your
Advice to Meg's


Create a 60s Album Cover

  1. Read this passage to your students.

    Originally, album covers were plain and boring. Their main function was to package and protect the records that they contained. In 1947, Alex Steinweiss, art director for Columbia Records, designed a paperboard jacket that protected the record, was an original work of art and provided a visual representation of the music that was contained within. Steinweiss' idea would eventually turn LP cover design into an art form.

Teacher Note: If possible bring in an album cover for students to see. If you don't have access to an album cover, you can perform an Internet search to locate images of sixties album covers. This BBC site contains several examples of jazz album covers.

  1. Ask students to imagine teenagers like Meg and Roxanne spending hours in their rooms listening to music and pouring over album covers. Tell students that they are going to design an album cover for a collection of songs from the sixties.

  2. Tell students that they are to select at least six songs from the sixties and compile them into an album. Send students to American Bandstand section of the American Dreams website.

    Ask students to listen to the three featured songs and record information about the song in the Album Organizer. Students may keep returning here each week to add songs to the collection until they have gathered enough songs for the album. After students have collected a minimum of six songs, they may begin work on the album cover. Students may also choose to collect songs from other sources to complete the collection. The local library, a family member's music collection, as well as the Web sites listed below are possible resources.

  3. Explain to students that the back of the album cover should contain liner notes. Liner notes give information about the music or performers.

  4. Pass out pieces of 12"X12" paper and drawing utensils.

  5. Allow students to share their designs with the class and display the covers on the classroom walls.

  6. As a homework assignment, tell students that they are going to ask a parent or another adult about their favorite album when they were their age. Tell students to compare their favorite cd with this person's favorite album and write a one-page comparison that includes such things as song lyrics, cover design, instruments, cost, etc.

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