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Lesson 8: Korean Popular Culture in the United States
Activity 8.1: Hallyu and K-Pop: A Global Phenomenon


Students explore Hallyu, the Korean Wave, and analyze K-Pop and Hallyu examples.

BTS, the Bangtan Boys, in 2019. (Source: Wikipedia)


Activity Questions

  • What is "Hallyu, the Korean Wave," and how is it impacting the global economy and global culture?

  • How is K-Pop similar and different from other genres of music?

  • How has the popularity of Korean culture and pop music shaped Korean American identify?

  • has Korean culture and K-Pop influenced the development of your identity as a Korean American?

Instructional Strategies

  • To support this activity, use the Lesson 8 Teachers' Guide and Lesson 8 Presentation found at Lesson 8.

Introduction to Hallyu: The Korean Wave

  • Review the activity questions.

  • Present lecture material introducing the topic of Hallyu.

  • Show the following videos.  As students watch, encourage them to make notes on the examples of Hallyu.

    • "A Brief History of Hallyu," which focuses on Korean films (6:47 minutes).

    • "The Korean Wave: How South Korea is Dominating the Internet" (9:08 minutes).

Hallyu Research Assignment

  • Download the assignment directions below and distribute below.

  • Provide students time in class to pair up and select a Hallyu example to research.

  • Review the assignment with students and provide time in class or assign as homework. Note: You may want to have students identify their selection so that there are no repeats. 

  • Let students know they will select and research a specific example of Hallyu to research and share. Students will prepare a one-page report.

    1. Title, author, and year originally published/created

    2. 50-word summary and description

    3. Reasons it has become internationally popular

    4. Whether the intended audience is children, youth, adults, or all of the above.

    5. Two images of the example

    6. One YouTube clip (less than 3 minutes long) of the example. 

  • Have students share their reports and videos in class.

Introduction to K-POP

  • Open the lesson by playing one of the songs by BTS or BlackPink.​

  • Present lecture material introducing the topic of K-Pop.

​Compare and Contrast Activity

  • Distribute lyrics to Girls' Generation Mr. Taxi and Kelly Clarkson's Breakaway (found under Lesson 8 Music Videos).

  • Play both videos (found under Lesson 8 Music Videos), and make them available for students to replay while completing the comparison/contrast activity.

  • Distribute and review the K-Pop Music Comparison/Contrast Activity (download below) and have students complete the worksheet in pairs or small groups.

Closing Activity​

  • End class with review and discussion of the activity questions.


 Hallyu Research Assignment (PDF)

K-POP Comparison/Contrast Worksheet (PDF)

YouTube Video: Brief History of Hallyu (6:47 minutes)

YouTube Video: The Korean Wave: How South Korea is Dominating the Internet (9:08 minutes)

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