Teaching Students About Carrie Brownstein

Carrie Brownstein is a multi-talented artist whose diverse career spans across various domains such as music, writing, and acting. As an influential figure in the entertainment industry, her work offers ample opportunities for educators to touch upon a myriad of topics while introducing students to her life and achievements. This article aims to provide teachers with valuable insight into teaching students about Carrie Brownstein and how her accomplishments can enrich their learning experience.

1. Early Life and Education

Begin by sharing information about Carrie Brownstein’s upbringing and schooling. Discuss how she grew up in a musical household in Seattle and her early interest in the arts. Her participation in school plays and musical programs showcases her passion for both music and acting from a young age.

2. Music Career

Focus on Brownstein’s contributions to the world of alternative rock as a co-founder of Sleater-Kinney, one of the most successful all-female punk rock bands of all time. Acknowledge her musicianship as guitarist and vocalist, as well as her role in shaping the band’s progress over the years. Separate projects like Wild Flag could also be mentioned during this discussion.

3. Writing Career

Introduce Carrie Brownstein’s writing career with her memoir ‘Hunger Makes Me A Modern Girl’ which details much of her life experiences and struggles while at Sleater-Kinney. Additionally, discuss her work as a writer at award-winning online magazine Slate, New York Times, NPR Music, and The Believer.

4. Acting Career

Highlight Brownstein’s accomplishments in television series ‘Portlandia’, which she co-created with Fred Armisen. Analyze how ‘Portlandia’ became both a cultural phenomenon and critical success by exploring its unique blend of comedy, satire, social commentary, along with its reflection on broader cultural trends.

5. Feminism and Activism

Delve into the impact that Carrie Brownstein has made as a feminist role model and LGBTQ+ activist. Use her work in Sleater-Kinney and her outspokenness on women’s rights and LGBTQ+ issues to discuss progress in gender equality within the music industry and society at large.


Emphasize Carrie Brownstein’s multifaceted career as a valuable teaching resource for exploring various art forms and social themes. By introducing your students to her work as a musician, writer, actor, feminist, and activist, they will gain a broader understanding of these subjects as interconnected aspects of a creative artist’s life. Additionally, studying Carrie Brownstein serves as an excellent gateway to discussions on perseverance, self-expression, breaking barriers, and celebrating diversity in today’s world.

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