Monday, March 11, 2013

Rock 'n Roll Learning

Alanis Morissette's song lyrics explained irony on students' levels: 

Students sang along and smiled; they "got it!" They formed small groups then made posters that demonstrated their understandings of irony, along with real life examples. As they worked on projects, they chatted about poems, songs, and writings that contained examples of irony. They joked about real life examples, and they discussed ways to explain and illustrate the concept on their posters. The buzz of the bell came too quickly for students. They put away their supplies then made plans to finish their work tomorrow. It worked--students were engaged, and they enjoyed learning ! 

Think back to when you learned nursery rhymes. Can you recall them with little effort? What was your favorite song as a child? Can you sing the song today? What song defined you in high school? Chances are you know the lyrics today. There's something about music and words that brings learning alive and makes memorizing content easy. An elementary class taught by Betty Jackson in Wynnewood, Oklahoma, in 1995, piloted a Saxon program that used songs to teach concepts to students. One of the students, who is now twenty-four, recalls the songs' lyrics with ease. "I'll never forget them! I still use them today, especially spelling rules..." said Zach. This is only one of the advantages of learning concepts through songs.

Where do you find good lesson plans that include music and song lyrics? One of the best websites is operated by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Lesson plans range from pre-k to adult learners. They include lyrics and supplemental resources, such as easy to follow guides, materials lists, videos and web sources. Objectives and outcomes are addressed, along with state guidelines. Implementing songs into any discipline has never been easier! An extra bonus: apply for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's Summer Teacher Institute.

Another option is Flocabulary. Remember School House Rock? Transform it into modern day with quality videos and lesson plans. The site addresses most subject matters, and be aware that these tunes are catchy! There's even a contest for students to write their own songs. A free school trial is being offered through June.

Using songs in the classroom has never been easier!

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