English Lesson on Jay-Z

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THE LESSON ON JAY-Z

Try the online quiz, reading, listening, and activities on grammar, spelling and vocabulary for this lesson on Jay-Z. Click on the links above or see the activities below this article:


READ

Jay-Z is a rap artist and former CEO of the record label Def Jam Recordings. He co-owns the American basketball team the New Jersey Nets. He has successfully expanded his career as a rapper into the wider business world as a recording executive. Jay-Z released his tenth album in 2007, making him one of rap’s most prolific artists. 

Jay-Z was born as Shawn Carter in Brooklyn in 1969. He grew up in a rough neighbourhood. His father abandoned him when he was 11 and he shot his brother in the shoulder when he was 12. He went to high school with fellow rappers The Notorious B.I.G. and Busta Rhymes. Jay-Z was interested in drum rhythms and writing lyrics from a young age.

Carter’s nickname was "Jazzy", which eventually developed into his stage name, "Jay-Z". He appeared on several hip-hop artists’ records in the late 1980s. Other rappers recognized his ability to rap and he recorded his first single in 1995. He was unable to secure a contract and founded Roc-A-Fella Records. He released his debut album ‘Reasonable Doubt’ in 1996, to critical acclaim.

Jay-Z turned into one of rap’s biggest stars over the next decade. He invested a lot of time into developing his business interests. He developed a hip-hop clothing line called Rocawear and received ‘GQ’ magazine’s International Man of the Year award. He also co-owns an American sports bar chain and has got into property development. Jay-Z married R&B star Beyonce in 2008.

245 words

Sources: http://www.wikipedia.org/ and assorted biographies.

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SYNONYM MATCH

Match the words from the article on the left with their synonyms on the right. Are your answers the same as other students’?

Paragraphs 1 and 2
 

 

 

1.

former

a.

productive

2

expanded

b.

left

3.

prolific

c.

widened

4.

rough

d.

ex-

5.

abandoned

e.

words to songs

6.

lyrics

f.

tough


Paragraphs 3 and 4
 

 

 

7.

changed

g.

spent

8.

secure

h.

praise

9.

acclaim

i.

prize

10.

invested

j.

transformed

11

award

k

real estate

12

property

l

get

PHRASE MATCH

Match the following phrases from the article:

1.

former CEO

a.

line called Rocawear

2

one of rap’s most

b.

when he was 11

3.

He grew up in a

c.

name, "Jay-Z"

4.

His father abandoned him

d.

prolific artists

5.

Jay-Z was interested in drum

e.

a lot of time

6.

developed into his stage

f.

rough neighbourhood

7.

He was unable to secure

g.

development

8.

He invested

h.

rhythms and writing lyrics

9.

He developed a hip-hop clothing

i.

of the record label Def Jam

10.

got into property

j.

a contract

LISTENING GAP FILL

Jay-Z is a rap artist and _________________ the record label Def Jam Recordings. _____________ American basketball team the New Jersey Nets. He has successfully expanded _________________ rapper into the wider business world as a recording executive. Jay-Z released his tenth album in 2007, making him one of rap’s _________________. 

Jay-Z was born as Shawn Carter in Brooklyn in 1969. He grew up in a _________________. His father abandoned him when he was 11 and he _________________ in the shoulder when he was 12. He went to high school _________________ The Notorious B.I.G. and Busta Rhymes. Jay-Z was interested in drum rhythms and _________________ a young age.

Carter’s nickname was "Jazzy", which _________________ into his stage name, "Jay-Z". He appeared on several hip-hop artists’ records in the late 1980s. Other _________________ his ability to rap and he recorded his first single in 1995. He was unable to _________________ and founded Roc-A-Fella Records. He released his debut album ‘Reasonable Doubt’ in 1996, _________________.

Jay-Z turned into one of rap’s biggest stars over _________________. He _________________  time into developing his business interests. He developed a hip-hop _________________ Rocawear and received ‘GQ’ magazine’s International Man of the Year award. He also co-owns an American sports bar chain and has got into _________________. Jay-Z married R&B star Beyonce in 2008.

CHOOSE THE CORRECT WORD

Delete the wrong word in each of the pairs in italics.

Jay-Z is a rap artist and former / firmer CEO of the record label Def Jam Recordings. He co-owns / owner the American basketball team the New Jersey Nets. He has successfully expanded his career was / as a rapper into the wider business world as a recording executive. Jay-Z released his tenth album in 2007, making him one of rap’s most profile / prolific artists. 

Jay-Z was born as Shawn Carter in Brooklyn in 1969. He grew / grown up in a rough neighbourhood. His father abandoned him when he was 11 and he shot / shoots his brother in the shoulder when he was 12. He went to high school with fellow / felllows rappers The Notorious B.I.G. and Busta Rhymes. Jay-Z was interested in drum rhymes / rhythms and writing lyrics from a young age.

Carter’s nicknamed / nickname was "Jazzy", which eventually developed into his stage / stages name, "Jay-Z". He appeared on several hip-hop artists’ records in the late 1980s. Other rappers recognized his ability / able to rap and he recorded his first single in 1995. He was unable to security / secure a contract and founded Roc-A-Fella Records. He released his debut album ‘Reasonable Doubt’ in 1996, to critical acclaim.

Jay-Z turned into / onto one of rap’s biggest stars over the next decade. He invested / investment a lot of time into developing his business interests. He developed a hip-hop clothing / clothes line called Rocawear and received ‘GQ’ magazine’s International Man of the Year award. He also co-owns an American sports bar lock / chain and has got into property development. Jay-Z married R&B star Beyonce in 2008.

SPELLING

The underlined, jumbled words are from the text. Spell them correctly.

Paragraph 1
 

1.

ormfer CEO of the record label Def Jam

2.

He has successfully aeexdndp his career

3.

a recording euetxveci

4.

one of rap’s most ioifrplc artists


Paragraph 2
 

5.

He grew up in a hguor neighbourhood

6.

he shot his brother in the ursdoelh

7.

drum hytsrhm

8.

writing lciyrs


Paragraph 3
 

9.

his seatg name, "Jay-Z"

10.

his tayliib to rap

11.

secure a orcttnca

12.

aiictrlc acclaim


Paragraph 4
 

13.

over the next eecdad

14.

He teisnedv a lot of time

15.

a hip-hop nthgcloi line

16.

proepyrt development

PUT THE TEXT BACK TOGETHER

Number these lines in the correct order.

(    )

 

the New Jersey Nets. He has successfully expanded his career as a rapper into the wider business world as a recording

(    )

 

rap and he recorded his first single in 1995. He was unable to secure a

(    )

 

in drum rhythms and writing lyrics from a young age.

(    )

 

called Rocawear and received ‘GQ’ magazine’s International Man of the Year award. He also co-owns

(    )

 

executive. Jay-Z released his tenth album in 2007, making him one of rap’s most prolific artists.

(    )

 

an American sports bar chain and has got into property development. Jay-Z married R&B star Beyonce in 2008.

( 1 )

 

Jay-Z is a rap artist and former CEO of the record label Def Jam Recordings. He co-owns the American basketball team

(    )

 

name, "Jay-Z". He appeared on several hip-hop artists’ records in the late 1980s. Other rappers recognized his ability to

(    )

 

Jay-Z turned into one of rap’s biggest stars over the next decade. He invested a lot of

(    )

 

contract and founded Roc-A-Fella Records. He released his debut album ‘Reasonable Doubt’ in 1996, to critical acclaim.

(    )

 

time into developing his business interests. He developed a hip-hop clothing line

(    )

 

abandoned him when he was 11 and he shot his brother in the shoulder when

(    )

 

Jay-Z was born as Shawn Carter in Brooklyn in 1969. He grew up in a rough neighbourhood. His father

(    )

 

Carter’s nickname was "Jazzy", which eventually developed into his stage

(    )

 

he was 12. He went to high school with fellow rappers The Notorious B.I.G. and Busta Rhymes. Jay-Z was interested

SCRAMBLED SENTENCES

With your partner, put the words back into the correct order.

1.

record    former    label    CEO    Def    of    Jam    the    Recordings

2.

He    career    has    as    successfully    a    expanded    rapper    his

3.

was    he    when    him    abandoned    father    His    11

4.

shot    his    brother    in    the    shoulder    when    he    was    12    he

5.

was    interested    in    drum    rhythms    and    writing   lyrics    Jay-Z

6.

his    to    Other    recognized    ability    rap    rappers

7.

unable    secure    contract    was    to    a    He

8.

of    developing    He    lot    into    business    a    time    his    invested

9.

clothing    Rocawear    a    hip-hop    called   developed    line    He

10.

owns    sports    He    -    American    chain    co    an    bar    also

JAY-Z DISCUSSION

STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

1.

What do you know about Jay-Z?

2.

Would you like to meet Jay-Z?

3.

What would you like to know about Jay-Z and why?

4.

___________________________________________________

5.

___________________________________________________

6.

___________________________________________________

7.

___________________________________________________

8.

___________________________________________________

------------------------------------

STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

1.

What did you learn from this text about Jay-Z?

2.

What questions would you like to ask Jay-Z?

3.

What would his answers be to those questions?

4.

___________________________________________________

5.

___________________________________________________

6.

___________________________________________________

7.

___________________________________________________

8.

___________________________________________________

JAY-Z SURVEY

Write five questions about Jay-Z in the table. Do this in pairs/groups. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper.

Without your partner, interview other students. Write down their answers.

 

STUDENT 1

_____________

STUDENT 2

_____________

STUDENT 3

_____________

Q.1.

 

 

 

 

Q.2.

 

 

 

 

Q.3.

 

 

 

 

Q.4.

 

 

 

 

Q.5.

 

 

 

 

Return to your original partner(s) and share and talk about what you found out.  Make mini-presentations to other groups on your findings.

WRITING

Write about Jay-Z for 10 minutes. Show your partner your paper. Correct each other’s work.

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

HOMEWORK

1. VOCABULARY EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google’s search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.

2. INTERNET: Search the Internet and find more information about Jay-Z. Talk about what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. JAY-Z POSTER: Make a poster showing the different stages of the life of Jay-Z. Show your poster to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all find out similar things?

4. MAGAZINE ARTICLE: Write a magazine article about Jay-Z. Include an imaginary interview with him. Write about what he does every day and what he thinks about.

Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Give each other feedback on your articles.

5. LETTER: Write a letter to Jay-Z. Ask him three questions about his life. Give him three suggestions on what he should do in his future. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your “Jay-Z expert” partner(s) will try and answer your questions.

ANSWERS

SYNONYM MATCH:

Paragraphs 1 and 2
 

 

 

1.

former

a.

ex-

2

expanded

b.

widened

3.

prolific

c.

productive

4.

rough

d.

tough

5.

abandoned

e.

left

6.

lyrics

f.

words to songs


Paragraphs 3 and 4
 

 

 

7.

changed

g.

transformed

8.

secure

h.

get

9.

acclaim

i.

praise

10.

invested

j.

spent

11

award

k

prize

12

property

l

real estate

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

former CEO

a.

of the record label Def Jam

2

one of rap’s most

b.

prolific artists

3.

He grew up in a

c.

rough neighbourhood

4.

His father abandoned him

d.

when he was 11

5.

Jay-Z was interested in drum

e.

rhythms and writing lyrics

6.

developed into his stage

f.

name, "Jay-Z"

7.

He was unable to secure

g.

a contract

8.

He invested

h.

a lot of time

9.

He developed a hip-hop clothing

i.

line called Rocawear

10.

got into property

j.

development

ALL OTHER EXERCISES:

Look at the text in "THE READING / TAPESCRIPT" section at the top of this page.

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