“If it ain’t a song, it’s wrong. ” 🎶
I’m not sure who said that, but it rings very true in our house when it comes to learning or memorizing concepts. We all learn our ABCs with a song and if you’re of my generation, you know this song:
Growing up in the 80s was awesome!
It makes sense to teach things in song because it helps the kids remember tough concepts and well, it’s fun. For more on the psychology of why this works, read this:
This past week we’ve been reviewing some of last year’s history, adding in a few tid bits along the way and wrapping up last year’s science unit that we hadn’t finished. Of course, this involved songs, and videos, and bugs, and 50 million crafts. I thought we’d share a little bit of what we’ve done because of course, with me being a self-proclaimed “paparazzi mom” and photographing everything, my kids now want to document everything too.
We recorded these recently so we have them to share and to keep for down the road.
Here are some of the songs we used to learn colors, days of the week and months of the year when the munchkins were younger.
One of our very first history units was Ancient Mesopotamia and when we went back to review the lesson I asked the kids where in the world the Fertile Crescent was. They could point to it on a map and could tell me which rivers were the first to house civilization but they couldn’t really tell me much about what countries were there now. Enter music! Here is the little rap we came up with, to help us remember the names of the 10 modern-countries that made up the Fertile Crescent.
Is how we start our song
All in the FC*, man!
Turkey and Jordan
And now you know all ten!
*FC = Fertile Crescent
We also discovered Google Classroom and Kahoot this year, which have made learning so much fun! Kahoot is a quiz app. Here’s our Ancient Mesopotamia quiz. Test your knowledge!
I’m working on an Ancient Egypt review quiz for the kids too since we’re getting ready to start the Greeks soon and need a review of Egypt before doing that. I’ll post that soon so you can test your knowledge! 😉☺️
We skip around with geography, picking countries or regions based on what’s happening in our lives (like the countries we’d be visiting on our trip to Europe) or because of a history unit (see above), or just because the kids show interest. Since we discovered Kahoot, we use it for nearly all topics, geography included. Of course we don’t limit things to geography when we learn about a country… there’s culture too! Here’s a Kahoot we came up with for India. See how many you can get right!
In addition to Kahoot, we love geography games (like The Scrambled States of America, Stack the States, Professor Noggins’ Geography of the United States, Little Robot Geography Drive) and we also come up with our own games. Here’s G showing off his knowledge of landmarks from an off-the-cuff game we came up with involving lego people, play money, dice and landmarks.
The kids have also been working on their 50 states for a while now and have recently picked it back up and made some progress. How did they learn it? Wait for it…. A SONG! M decided to rap hers, and the littles have sung theirs. I have also posted the original so you can hear the actual tune (because while we love music we aren’t necessarily the best singers in our house).
We’re wrapping up our first go-around with Biology before we move on to Earth Sciences and Astronomy and we’re working on the taxonomy classifications. We found a taxonomy classification song but the kids decided they wanted to try it on their own so here it is:
So far we’ve learned about two phylyms: Cnidaria and Annelida. Cnidarians include sea jellies, coral, hydras and sea anemones. The kids made their own sea jellies out of cups and yarn in order to replicate a simplified version of the sea jelly lifecycle (fertilized egg, larva, polyp, medusa).
Then we moved on to Annelida, which is the worm phylum. We went digging in our vermicompost bin for some worms and learned the basics on their anatomy.
While in Europe, I came across kid versions of Shakespeare’s plays and bought a few of the books for my 7yo, an avid reader. She devoured them and after spending an afternoon woodworking with her grandfather came out brandishing a wooden sword, claiming that she wanted to perform MacBeth (which she had recently finished reading). The kids decided they wanted to sword fight so we decided to do the portion of the play where MacBeth is defeated by MacDuff. You can see the lines here — it’s part of Act V, Scene VIII.
So yeah, songs, chants, plays, games and quizzes are all AWESOME for learning. In case you didn’t already know. 😁 Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go practice my Mexican Hat Dance with the kids for our upcoming Mexico unit! 💃🏻 Happy Learning!
The Merry Few 5