by Aesop Rock

Writing Workshop

Workshop Title: Dorks

Step 1

Say, “Try to think of a group of people who have “ruined” something by inserting their opinion too much. Try to think of a group of people who have no business or right to be offering their opinions or advice.” Then give your students 5-10 minutes to discuss.

Step 2

Watch Aesop Rock’s performance of his song “Dorks.” In the song, he offers his opinion on “divide I see between the art, the artist, the image, and how music media gets to steer the conversation more than the actual creators do.” When you’re done, discuss his attitude toward those in the music media.

Step 3

Give your students some time to gather some ideas about this group of people, ones who have “steered the conversation” about a particular issue without having any real right, talent, expertise, or knowledge to do so. Have them come up with a list of reasons that essentially explain why this group of people are “dorks.”

Step 4

Say, “Write a poem similar in sentiment to Aesop Rock’s ‘Dorks’ in which you convey your attitude toward a group of people who have no business inserting their opinion about an issue or topic of your choice.”

Step 5

When the students are done, have them share their responses with one another.

The full presentation may be found HERE.

Analytical Lesson

Area of Focus: Various

Step 1

This lesson allows students to analyze various concepts and skills, so it is recommended that you have covered several of the “standalone” lessons before assigning this one. The prominent literary devices & techniques that this particular poem includes are: tone, diction, figurative language, selection of detail, and imagery.

Step 2

Open the following presentation and go through it with your students. This presentation has all of the introductory materials, directions, and examples you will need as you’re introducing the assignment. In this assignment, your students will be analyzing a verse of Aesop Rock’s “Dorks” and breaking it down in a style similar to the “Lyricology” video series.

Step 3

Before you allow your students to start working, make sure they are in their appropriate groups. There are four different sections of the song that need to be divvied up, so you may want to have two Group 1’s, two Group 2’s, etc. depending on the size of your class.

Step 4

When the presentation prompts you, have your students open the following document and make sure that they are aware of the expectations of the assignment before they begin. Most of the information in the document is the same as that from the presentation, but there are a few more specifics about the assignment’s criteria and a brief guide walking them through the basics of Adobe Spark. Your students will also submit the link to their final product in this document.

Step 5

If time permits at the end of the class, have your students share their final products in numerical order, i.e. Group 1, Group 2, etc., so they can have a glimpse of what a complete analysis of the verse may sound like.

Lesson Details

Lesson Info


  • Various


  • Children / Youth
  • Community / Culture
  • Creativity / Imagination / Writing
  • Education Formal / Informal
  • Family
  • History
  • Labor / Work
  • Philosophy

Literary Tags

  • Diction
  • Figurative Language
  • Imagery
  • Selection of Detail
  • Tone