I grew up watching and listening to School House Rock. When I first started teaching my freshmen English class I often made mention of the songs, or quoted memorable lines from Conjunction Junction, Busy Prepositions, or Verb: That’s What’s Happening. Not all of these were classic hits but they were subject matter relevant. I thought these songs were timeless and yet I was surprised by how few of my students had any idea what I was talking about. I quickly made the decision to incorporate School House Rock into my curriculum. Well, okay not so much the curriculum but as an incentive at the end of the week. You’d be shocked at the positive response the teenagers had to songs meant for students much younger.
That just goes to show the power of song. My students were able to have fun and reinforce the content we were learning in 3rd period. I think I even heard a few of them humming during our grammar midterm exam.
While you shouldn’t use a song to teach every lesson, there certainly are enough out there if you wanted to use a song every unit. With the rapid expansion of music and video sites such as YouTube and SoundCloud, you can often find a great song to fit your unit with a simple google search. I was reminded of this earlier today when Weird Al’s new single, Word Crimes, popped up on my twitter feed.
Take a listen to Weird Al’s Word Crimes, the perfect way to kick off any English or Language Arts class at the start of the year.
Have a little fun with your students and show them that you have a sense of humor. They may learn something and you may strengthen the teacher/student connection.