Students Speak Up: Singing it Out

Students Speak Up: Singing it Out

Happy Friday and thanks for coming to today’s Students Speak Up! Hopefully you had a great week and have some fun things planned for the weekend to keep yourself entertained.

 

Today I would love to touch on a strategy that has helped me learn so many things over the years: the beautiful art of song. Don’t get me wrong, my singing voice is about as melodious as a garbage truck emptying trash bins in the morning...definitely not my strong suit. However, to this day I remember almost every song that I learned over the years in conjunction with whatever material I was trying to internalize by singing it out. 

 

At this very moment, in my sophomore year of college, I could sing you the song that helped me memorize the unit circle. I could whip out the quadratic formula song that is set to the Pop goes the Weasel tune. Or perhaps you would love to watch me sing all of the irregular preterite endings for Spanish that I learned in high school. Whether it’s the four main functions of animals, the rock cycle, or Puck’s character from Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” I know tunes to this day that help me remember all of it.

 

You might be thinking that your students will feel silly or like they’re too old for songs, but the truth is, the older I got the more everyone was trying to think up acronyms and tunes to remember the more difficult material. I encourage you, if there is a topic with a lot of similar information or that is hard to remember, make a song for it---it will be stuck in everyone’s brains for so much longer!

 

Or, if you wanted to take it to the next level, you could assign your students to write song lyrics to the tune of a popular song, which would allow them to take some initiative in their own learning. I always loved doing those types of projects with friends even though I was not a confident singer---it was so funny and cemented the material in my head. Below you will find my pride and joy, my Rock Cycle Song to the tune of Katy Perry’s “Firework” that my friend and I composed in eighth grade:

 

Have you ever wondered how rocks are formed?

Well  I guess that's a no but that's okay with us

 

Some start out igneous, and some sedimentary

Others metamorphic, and that's all the three

 

Intrusive rocks form, from melting magma underground

 Extrusive ones form on the surface with lava

Then they can be changed by heat and pressure

Into metamorphic


Sediments press together 

into  layers

They form sedimentary 

rocks


'Cause, rocks can be igneous

And also metamorphic

And then there's sedimentary

with fossils and sediments

 

Cause, rocks can be igneous

And also metamorphic

And then there's sedimentary

with fossils and sediments

 

Weathering and, erosion

 Break down sedimentary rocks

Into plain old sediments 

Then press together and form once again

Then that's all, for today folks

I know, I know--- it’s kind of a legendary song. I think I may have missed my calling as a singer/songwriter (although the rhythm of some lines can be pretty questionable). 

 

Anyway, my point is that I could still sing you that song about the rock cycle at this very moment, and for that reason I love learning content through song. Thanks so much for tuning in to today’s Students Speak Up, and we will see you on Monday!