October 30, 2014

Throwback Thursday 10.30.14

Welcome to...

What is Throwback Thursday? How does it work, you might ask? Simply look through your PURR-fect Previous Posts, perhaps a particular favorite of yours, and re-post it! Then add the TBT badge to your post and include your link below! Purr-fectly easy and simple! Your post doesn't have to be from LOOOONNNGGG ago; it can be from last month or even earlier this week. And if you don't have a post to share, perhaps an old photo or two from WAY BACK will do! Even a favorite pin is PURR-fect! Just join in the Throwback fun!

This post originally appeared on The Teacher's Desk 6 on Feb. 22, 2013.

Besides being a teacher, I am a musician and singer. I constantly have music floating through my head and I generally walk to a beat. As a result I have always tried to include music in my teaching. Setting facts and concepts to a familiar tune and teaching it to children results in a quicker and longer retention rate of material.  It does take a bit of time to set your instructional content to music, but with the advent of YouTube it is easy to locate a piece of music for just about any concept that you must teach. Just ask the parents of  my current sixth grade class.

I had the pleasure of working with this group of students when they were in fourth grade, teaching them Science. I introduced the concept of the periodic table and its features to them during a unit on "Kitchen Chemistry." Pretty heavy stuff for fourth graders! However, knowing that these children LOVED to sing, I went in search of some music about this concept. I found a few gems on YouTube that were suitable for this age group and shared them with the class. One turned out to be quite a treasure! They beg me to let them sing it TO THIS DAY (two years later) and they have gone on to write additional verses. Nearly every one of my current sixth graders is able to recite AT LEAST the first 20 elements in the periodic table thanks to this video.

This song has been floating through my head constantly once again since I shared it with this year's crop of sixers last week. It can be heard in the hallways throughout the day and I'm told it's being sung at dinner tables across the city in the evenings. Former students have popped their heads into my classroom with smiles and messages of "I remember when...!"

That little song is just the beginning. Here's another about the periodic table that I shared with my sixers that features none other than Harry Potter. This musical version includes nearly all of the known elements and is a wonderful way to deepen a student's knowledge of a difficult concept.

Music is a powerful teaching tool and will engage students quickly and easily. If you can add music to your lesson, give it a try. Search YouTube for songs about your subject matter and concepts. Can't find something? Take a familiar tune and adapt the lyrics to suit your need.

Here's a simple ditty that I created a few years ago to help my students remember the Parts of Speech. You're welcome to borrow it and use it with your students if you'd like.

Sung to the tune of "Here We Go 'Round the Mulberry Bush"

What are the parts of speech, parts of speech, parts of speech?
What are the parts of speech?
Listen well and learn!

Nouns,verbs and interjections, adverbs, pronouns, prepositions,
Conjunctions and adjectives
Are the parts of speech.

A noun is a naming word, naming word, naming word.
A noun is a naming word,
a person, place, or thing.

A verb is an action word, an action word, an action word.
A verb is an action word or
am, is, are, was, were.

A pronoun renames a noun, renames a noun, renames a noun.
A pronoun renames a noun:
she, he, it, they, we.

An adjective's a describing word, describing word, describing word.
An adjective's a describing word;
it tells about a noun.

An adverb describes a verb, describes a verb, describes a verb.
An adverb describes a verb:
how, when, where, how much.

Interjections shows surprise, show surprise, show surprise.
Interjections show surprise.
Oh my gosh!

Conjunctions are joining words, joining words, joining words.
Conjunctions are joining words:
and, but, or, for, yet.

In, around, about, behind, over, under, up, inside,
Into, during, with, before
These are prepositions.

Now you know the parts of speech, parts of speech, parts of speech.
Now you know the parts of speech.
You will use them in your writing.

Now it's your turn.


  1. Thanks for hosting this linky party! It was my first time participating. Hope to do it more in the future.

  2. LOVE this!! Thanks! I can't wait to sing this with my kids!!


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