Now that I can download YouTube videos and play them in class, I love to do it. Sometimes these are directly related to the activity we’re doing that day, but sometimes I like to play things that are fun but tangentially related to the curriculum.
Usually, I’ll play these fun videos during the transition of classes, as students enter and for the first minute or so after the bell rings. The music draws kids in, and gives them something to focus on (since they rarely like to focus on their Do Now).
The other day, I came across a great source of these fun little videos – Animaniacs! It’s been years since I watched the show, and I almost forgot how funny (and sometimes educational) they can be.
For now, I downloaded a series of three clips.
Wacko’s Fifty States
In the first clip, Wacko recites the fifty states and their capitals. Catchy tune and quite funny.
Yakko’s Nations of the World
In the next, Yakko recites the nations of the world. This one goes on for a while, and I can’t find one with better video quality. However, it’s still a catchy tune, and it should help familiarize your students with the names of the nations of the world.
Presidents of the United States
In the final movie for today, all three Animaniacs sing about the Presidents of the United States. This is probably the most “educational” of the three. It contains something interesting and slightly important about most of the Presidents. It’s also the least repetitive of the songs, since there’s actual information to go along with the random names.
Do You Make Your Students Memorize This Random Crap?
Well… no. For the most part. I do ask students to locate states and countries on the map, but not all at once. Usually it’s a select few (10-15) that are related to something we’ve discussed.
Like I said at the beginning, I didn’t pick these songs to “teach” the students something specific. They’re just a way to kill extra time (i.e. before the bell rings) and entertain the kids with something relevant to the curriculum.
This also gives the kids an incentive to get into the classroom early. Sometimes they walk slow or linger outside, but now they know that (at least sometimes) there will be something fun and interesting playing when they come in. When they complain and ask me to play it again (after class starts), I tell them to show up early the next day!
This Life of Brian » Blog Archive » You Should Be Listening to the Sensational Alex Harvey Band
December 4, 2008