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This download includes both the 29-slide PowerPoint AND the two-page handout in PDF and MS WORD format.


The thoughtful PowerPoint gives background, complete lyrics, higher-order thinking questions, links to the song and music video, and a multifaceted analysis of the song. Each of the 121 historical references are briefly explained as well.


The handout provides the lyrics and brief explanations of each historical reference, as well as a series of thought-provoking questions.


This activity was designed for 10th grade World History students or 11th grade U.S. History students and could take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. Enjoy!

Billy Joel's "We Didn't Start the Fire" - 121 History References (PPT & Handout)

  • Grade Level:


  • Pages:

    29 slides and 2 printable handouts

  • Subject(s):

    History, U.S. History, World History, Cold War

  • Format(s):

    Zip with PowerPoint, Word, PDF

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