Today’s Teach it Tuesday is about teaching with music.  I don’t know about you, but music is a part of my daily life.  I sing in the car while driving to work (and other places) all the time.  I have been known to have a quality jam sesh at the wheel (lucky you if you are witness to it!) Music makes my world more peaceful – I feel good when I sing, even though I’m not a good singer…funny hey?  Meaghan and I have both have a bit of experience using music as a teaching tool in the standard classroom (and I taught elementary music last year) so we thought we’d share some of our music related ideas with you all.

Meaghan, showing off our singing books at French school.
Meaghan, showing off our singing books at French school this past summer.

Here is a list we’ve made of songs that work for a few subjects – We would love to see what you have to add to our list in the comments!

Taylor Swift – Red – Language Arts

This song has more metaphors and similes than I could ever know what to do with! I can’t wait to teach English again and have my students sort through the lyrics to decipher the difference between metaphors/similes. Plus, concrete examples of how to use metaphors so they make sense to students? Thank you T-Swift!

Grand Corps Malade – Saint Denis – French

This isn’t exactly music (it’s spoken word) but I think Slam poetry is really interesting to students nowadays. We just looked at this poem in my French class and it was pretty interesting how much you can pick up from the video and the words you know. We also had to write our own Slam Poem on the city of our choice after. Also, I really love learning slang in other languages and this is full of “verlan” words (inverse words, e.g. verlan = l’envers).

Champs Elysee – Joe Dassin – French

In my final practicum I had the opportunity to watch my mentor teacher teach Champs Elysees to her French classes and all the students loved this song! The chorus is super catchy and who doesn’t like to play an air saxophone while learning new French vocab?! This song was taught and reviewed over the course of several weeks and the greatest part of these lessons was witnessing the students pick up new vocabulary and sing along.  As a German student in high school I loved learning new German songs because singing them made me feel like I was more fluent (I know, such a poser).

Jacuzzi – Radio Radio – French

Here’s another hilarious and catchy French song (again, watched it taught in my final practicum).  Radio Radio has performed at various schools in our district and from what I’ve heard they are pretty entertaining.  Listen to this song once and it’ll take you at least two weeks to get this one out of your head, but at least you’ll feel #yoloswag after (whatever that even means!?! I just feel like that term belongs with this music video).

Rock Cycle – Mr. Lee Science Teacher – Science

I am proud to say I know all the words to this song (so does my sister, she’s got an environmental studies degree).  I showed this song to my second practicum class and we used it as a curriculum tool and as an example to create our own class song about volcanoes.  My grade 6/7 students were able to pull off a mean Volcano Rap at the end of our unit…ballin’.

Layers of the Earth – Mr. Lee Science Teacher – Science

Mr. Lee Science Teacher is brilliant.  I love his songs.  Here’s another about the layers of the earth.

And to close this post about music in the classroom, here is a gorgeous version of “The Cup Song” sang by a large group of students.  I’m already scheming up ways to make something like this happen in my Dance Club at school…

Please send us/share with us any other brilliant songs you like to use in your teaching!