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Teachers Use Music Parodies in History Lessons, Find Great Results

Teachers Use Music Parodies In History Lessons, Find Great Results

What can music do to help students connect the past and the present? Two teachers think that it can "strengthen the connections students can create for themselves when they write their own lyrics.

Educators Jody Passanisi and Shara Peters, history teachers, writes about how musical parodies can be used in the classroom to "help students' sense of history lessons," said an article on In the post, the duo shares examples of musical parodies, such as an educator's YouTube video, "What Does John Locke Say?".

In the video to the tune of the famous hit, "What Does the Fox Say?", educator Tim Betts creates a number of musical parodies to teach students about historical people, events, and more.

"While this video only came to my attention after my class had already covered the similarities between Locke’s philosophy and the ideas in the Declaration of Independence, I recently showed it when the class discussed the Texas Revolution," Passanisi said. "Students were comparing the Texas Revolution to the American War of Independence, asking whether, according to Locke, the Texas Revolution was justified."

Passanisi said her class spent time to create their own parody lyrics, such as using Frozen's, "Do You Want to Build a Snowman?" to discuss "the ideological conflicts that were being discussed after the Revolutionary War," the article said.

The first verse of, "Do You Want to Build a Nation?" reads: "Jefferson? Do you wanna build a nation? Come on let’s go and conquer. We can’t stand England anymore, we have to fight, it’s like we cannot stay. They used to be our buddies, and now we’re not I wish you would tell me why! Do you wanna build a nation? It doesn’t have to be America. Go away, Washington. Okay, fine…"

Passanisi said she found great results in this lesson, and "noticed the students going through was interesting to watch."

"While deciding what content/idea/skill to choose, the students talked through the course content of the past year, going through each unit and idea one at a time," she said. "They debated talking about the Constitution or U.S. expansion, they weighed the Revolutionary War vs. the War of 1812. It was gratifying to see students incorporating big ideas like historical bias."

Education World recently spoke to 

See Betts' "What Does John Locke Say?" parody below.

Read the full story. 

Article by Kassondra Granata, Education World Contributor

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