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The Art of Teaching the Arts - Annenberg Media

Grades
9 to 12
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This is a wonderful site for high school educators who are interested in teaching the arts through theatre, music, art, or any of the humanities. It is a professional workshop ...more
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This is a wonderful site for high school educators who are interested in teaching the arts through theatre, music, art, or any of the humanities. It is a professional workshop site that offers 8 one-hour practical video seminars on how to teach the arts and on the passion of those who already do. The videos are free for streaming, but you can also purchase them as DVDs or VHS. You do have to register--for free. The self-described goal is a workshop to help teachers improve their teaching through seven different foci, including the diverse needs of students, instructional approaches, creating the appropriate learning environment to making the most of community resources, and encouraging students to be independent thinkers and creative problem solvers. This site requires Windows Media Player. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): creativity (119)

In the Classroom

This is a professional site rich in ideas for any teacher looking for new ideas or a jump-start to teach the arts. Make this course your personal goal for summer break or a collaborative professional development group.

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Biographical Dictionary - s9.com

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3 to 12
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This Wikipedia-type dictionary includes more than 33,000 biographies on men and women from ancient times to today. Search by birth or death dates, professions, achievements, name or...more
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This Wikipedia-type dictionary includes more than 33,000 biographies on men and women from ancient times to today. Search by birth or death dates, professions, achievements, name or other keywords. Anyone can register to edit or add to a biography. If you do recommend this site as a source for research, be sure to have the discussion about its unknown authorship and usefulness as a general information tool but not as a "scholarly" resource.

tag(s): critical thinking (110)

In the Classroom

This site could be a terrific way to publish student research projects to the real world. When you assign research projects on a famous scientist, author, famous American, musician, etc., have students create their written projects in a format that will fit into this online dictionary, including providing links and references for their information. Younger students could write an entry together as a class (perhaps on an author whose book you have just read). Challenge middle and high school students to find articles in your research area that contain possible inaccuracies or bias (and the research to prove it) and present both the original and their proposed changes to the class before putting them online. What a critical thinking challenge!

Be sure to follow your district's acceptable use policy if you are allowing students to contribute to this site. Make sure you have written parent permission to post student work online.

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The Enjoyment of Music Online Tutor - W.W. Norton and Company

Grades
6 to 12
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This online tutor for all things music across the ages provides everything from sound files to play as examples of different musical eras and composers to visual timelines and information...more
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This online tutor for all things music across the ages provides everything from sound files to play as examples of different musical eras and composers to visual timelines and information about composers, eras, and more. The Musical Materials portion explains musical terms and illustrates them with a brief, streaming audio clip. This site requires FLASH. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): composers (21)

In the Classroom

Allow students to explore concepts, terms, or eras in partners and share their findings with the class or even better, create a product illustrating what they have learned: perhaps a PowerPoint slide that plays selected audio clips from a CD to illustrate terms or a podcast audio "tour" of an era in their own words. If you don't have the time for a student project, simply turn up your speakers and share the sound clips to support your curriculum. Be sure to share the site link on your teacher web page for curious musicians to explore the tutorials on their own or learn about an assigned composer outside of class. You can also set the "jukebox" for an era playing on speakers as students enter class and ask them to guess the era!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Exploring Africa - Michigan State University

Grades
6 to 12
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Wow, this website is amazing! Exploring Africa brings Africa into your classroom through numerous interdisciplinary lessons. There are 20 modules (within 4 general units of study)....more
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Wow, this website is amazing! Exploring Africa brings Africa into your classroom through numerous interdisciplinary lessons. There are 20 modules (within 4 general units of study). The general units include "Why Study Africa", "Studying Africa Through the Social Studies", "Studying Africa Through the Humanities", and "Regional Perspectives". Each module contains a teacher version that includes objectives, focus questions, activities, background information, and more. These teaching and learning activities all follow the "5 E's" format: Engage, Explore, Explain, Expand, and Evaluate. The website also provides links for specific country information and current events.

tag(s): africa (178), diversity (35)

In the Classroom

This website is literally a textbook online. The information is ready to go and easy to use. It may not be possible to cover all of the information included in this extensive website. Pick and choose the modules that will be useful in your own classroom. Modules can easily be used independently and include detailed teacher notes, evaluations, printable pages, and more. Many of the a ctivities will work well using technology, though the plans do not specify this. For example: Share some of the maps on your interactive whiteboard or have students draw some of their "preconceived notions" about Africa on the whiteboard as part of the introductory image activities.

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Mama Lisa's World - Lisa Yannucci

Grades
K to 10
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This site provides a multitude of songs and nursery rhymes from North America, Europe, Asia, South America, Africa and Australia. It is a user-friendly site with lyrics as ...more
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This site provides a multitude of songs and nursery rhymes from North America, Europe, Asia, South America, Africa and Australia. It is a user-friendly site with lyrics as well as audio of the song tunes (requires Quicktime). There are songs listed about colors, phonics, and much more in every language imaginable. Simply reading the titles will bring lesson plan ideas to mind! The options are endless with this site for primary and ESL students. World language teachers will also love the options for teaching basics.

tag(s): french (89), lyrics (20), nursery rhymes (18), rhymes (32), spanish (109)

In the Classroom

Be sure to turn up your speakers to use the audio portions. In primary grades: Use the rhymes for phonics and phonemic awareness activities as well as multicultural linguistic comparisons. Offer these songs, along with the corresponding song sheets as a listening center during guided reading. Teachers may find songs they forgot about long ago and would like to introduce them to the children with a personal anecdote or historical background as listed on the site.

In World language classes: use the songs to teach basic vocabulary and culture. ask your students to find and learn a song, then perform it for the class. Or even record a podcast of Spanish or French songs!

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The Victorian Web - George P. Landow

Grades
9 to 12
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This site covers the Victorian period (roughly 1837 through 1901) and addresses everything from political and social history to gender matters, authors, periodicals, philosophy, religion,...more
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This site covers the Victorian period (roughly 1837 through 1901) and addresses everything from political and social history to gender matters, authors, periodicals, philosophy, religion, technology, and more. Since this covers much of the development of industry in the Western world, it is an invaluable source for studying the arts and humanities. History teachers who study the Industrial Revolution will like this site for its connections between technology and other areas of society. Note that music is included in the "theatre and popular entertainment" section. The composer of every high school student's favorite theme song, "Pomp and Circumstance," is included among the profiles. Can you find him/her?

tag(s): evolution (102), industrial revolution (25), victorian (21)

In the Classroom

In English, history, art or music classes, have students research aspects of Victorian times and present those pieces to the class. Everything from dressing up in costume to displaying the appropriate manners is game! Portraying authors, actors, and others at the popular soir?es using the language of the time would be a great learning experience for students. In fact, there are more than enough authors and others listed to have quite a party of in full regalia and language. What a dinner party that might be!

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Sound Junction - Associated Board of the Royal School of Music (UK)

Grades
3 to 12
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Want to know how music is really put together? Do you love exploring and creating different sounds? You don't need to be a music teacher (or teacher of gifted and ...more
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Want to know how music is really put together? Do you love exploring and creating different sounds? You don't need to be a music teacher (or teacher of gifted and talented) to appreciate this site, but if you are one, you will want to mark this as a Favorite immediately. As the site says itself, "You can take music apart and find out how it works, create music yourself, find out how other people make music and how they perform it, you can find out about musical instruments, and look at the backgrounds to different musical styles."

Interact with musical instruments or create your own music and share your composition with others on the web. Lively, crisp sounds echo from this site so use your best musical "ear." Teachers can find many ways to collaborate with others around the world by clicking "Find music teaching resources," an area that even includes Sound Junction activities created by other teachers. Free membership allows you to save music you create and save your "journey" through the site's tools so you can retrace your steps another day. If high school music students are allowed to use personal accounts, they can create music individually or in small groups. Even working together as a class is a remarkable experience from beginner to professional level. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): sound (103), sounds (68)

In the Classroom

Be sure to hook up speakers or headphones to share in class. Music teachers who have access to an interactive whiteboard or projector can enjoy composing music together with the whole class, then posting to the web for the school community to enjoy. Elementary students will develop a better "ear" just from the Music Explorer which will "feature" different voices from within a piece of music. Both Explorer and Composer require a "Sequence Xtra" plug-in (offered for free download). Teachers of gifted will want to share this resource with their talented musicians. There is so much in this site it could take months to discover it all.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Hyper History Online - The World History Project

Grades
6 to 12
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This comprehensive history/culture resource is the mother of all timelines with over 3000 years of history available in "synchronoptic" form, that is, in parallel timelines. Users...more
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This comprehensive history/culture resource is the mother of all timelines with over 3000 years of history available in "synchronoptic" form, that is, in parallel timelines. Users can view by searching year, event, people, stories, subjects, events, political movements, and maps. Constant updates to the events section and additional "people" lines ensure the timeliness of this amazing site. (The site does NOT include people who are still alive). The span of the timelines and people, events, and cultures is extensive. Timeline elements are clickable for more information. We recommend the site for grades 6 and up purely because of the level of exposure necessary to appreciate all the information and because of the reading level.

tag(s): biographies (88), politics (100)

In the Classroom

Use this site for context regarding what was going on all over the world at any given time, especially as you launch class discussion of a new topic or time period. Help students see relationships between what they know and what else was occurring at the same time. Use it to pose questions about how events and people may be related, as well. This site will work very well on a projector or interactive whiteboard.

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National Dance Education Organization

Grades
K to 12
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The National Dance Education Organization is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting standards of excellence in dance education. ...more
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The National Dance Education Organization is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting standards of excellence in dance education.

tag(s): dance (28)

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MENC: The National Association for Music Education

Grades
K to 12
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The National Association for Music Education web site ...more
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The National Association for Music Education web site

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Learning from Lyrics - Johnathan Chase,

Grades
9 to 12
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This site offers a unit/lesson plan that provides the opportunity for students to use their own music to be involved in poetry and music. It also gives links to other ...more
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This site offers a unit/lesson plan that provides the opportunity for students to use their own music to be involved in poetry and music. It also gives links to other pertinent sites, such as a "Blues Bus Trip" that involves students in the history of their music. This is great for Humanitites-oriented classes.

tag(s): lyrics (20), poetry (225)

In the Classroom

Offering six 45-minute lessons, this is a wonderful site for your reluctant learners. While students are encouraged to use their own music, you can offer suggestions of different types of music (such as folk music or Celtic, opera or jazz or blues, etc.). You might adjust plans around the lessons given, assigning different music genres to small groups or individuals which would then incorporate research into the project. The links on this page offer a wide variety of places to go and things to do for students.

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Listening to Poetry: Sounds of the Sonnet - National Endowment for the Humanities

Grades
8 to 12
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If you want to make your students love the SOUND of poetry, this is the site for you. While knowing the terms for rhythms, meters, etc. is important to teachers ...more
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If you want to make your students love the SOUND of poetry, this is the site for you. While knowing the terms for rhythms, meters, etc. is important to teachers and for testing, it seems more important for students to understand the sound that comes from language and appreciate it. The terms can always come later and will be connected to a meaningful experience students can recall. This site provides seven sound experiments to whet your students' appetites for poetry. The site provides step-by-step instructions on the seven "experiments" used to involved students in the music of language. It also provides multiple links to different eras from the early Elizabethan sonnets to the Romantics through Victorian and American poets.

tag(s): poetry (225), sonnets (6)

In the Classroom

Conduct these lessons in their "traditional" ways or consider letting students make a podcast of one or more of the experiments so their peers can "hear" the lesson over and over with explanation and commentary from their peers. These podcasts could be the start of a library to accompany the teaching of poetry in your school. If you have never tried podcasting, the relatively simple structure of these "experiments" gives you a structured place to start.

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The Poetics of Hip Hop - Theresa Sotto

Grades
9 to 12
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This site gives lessons to help provide analysis of hip hop music and lyrics and provide students with a greater understanding of rhythm, form, diction, and sound in poetry. It ...more
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This site gives lessons to help provide analysis of hip hop music and lyrics and provide students with a greater understanding of rhythm, form, diction, and sound in poetry. It is a great way to get reluctant English students involved in language and the way it works.

tag(s): poetry (225)

In the Classroom

Four 45-minute lessons are structured to that students will analyze form in Shakespearean sonnets, then analyze hip hop music to determine common characteristics between the Bard's work and the music of hip hop artists. Students will reinforce their understanding of the connections between hip hop and poetry through close analysis of the works of poets Saul Williams and Nikki Giovanni, and through the creation of their own poetry. Related websites offer a variety of directions to take students, making this adaptable for many kinds of lessons.

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American Experience: New Orleans - PBS

Grades
6 to 12
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The tragedy of Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent efforts to rebuild the city of New Orleans have brought attention to this distinctive city. This site provides resources for helping...more
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The tragedy of Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent efforts to rebuild the city of New Orleans have brought attention to this distinctive city. This site provides resources for helping students understand its unique history from historical and cultural perspectives.

There are several great interactive resources provided including audio clips and commentary about New Orleans' great musical tradition, and a flash-enabled map showing the growth of the city over time. Whether you're interested in teaching music, particularly American Jazz, or the history of New Orleans' diverse melting pot of cultures or the politics of race in the Katrina recovery process, you will find good content here. Teacher resources include lesson plans on history, civics, music and geography.

tag(s): jazz (15)

In the Classroom

Share the interactive portions on projector and speakers or laptops, as you ask your students to propose a better way for government agencies to prepare for and respond to disasters. Using this site and many others, they can gather evidence to support their proposals. Don't miss the accounts by the Superintendent of the St. Bernard Schools as another source.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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The Music In Poetry - Smithsonian Institute

Grades
5 to 12
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If you want to get students involved in listening to poetry, try this site featuring real life SOUNDS of poetry in both ballads and the blues. Ballads are traditionally taught ...more
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If you want to get students involved in listening to poetry, try this site featuring real life SOUNDS of poetry in both ballads and the blues. Ballads are traditionally taught as story poems and, while this site does that too, it makes ballads more relevant to the music that kids listen to today. Use this site to teach about meters (iambic triameter and iambic tetrameter) in ways that students can HEAR. The images of the short films are great, too. The site includes readings and singing of great, classic examples of ballads as well as some rarer film footage of great blues singers (ex: John Jackson singing "Steamboat Whistle" at Wolf Trap in 1997). There is a wide variety of tracks to choose from and the site includes lesson plans.

tag(s): blues (19), poetry (225)

In the Classroom

Play the sound files on speakers in your classroom and be sure to include the link on your teacher web page for students to play at home, as well. If you are into podcasting, consider having students make their own recordings of ballads after hearing and studying these. Create podcasts using PodOmatic (reviewed here). The lesson plans are printable Adobe and work with units/lessons on Langston Hughes and the blues as well as the meters of poetry.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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One Station - WRN

Grades
6 to 12
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One Station offers "Diverse Views: Global Voices," or links to radio stations as well as specific shows in a multitude of countries. The opening page has broadcast language choices...more
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One Station offers "Diverse Views: Global Voices," or links to radio stations as well as specific shows in a multitude of countries. The opening page has broadcast language choices for selecting stations. The site includes summaries of content and evaluations of the reliability, frequency, and objectivity of the stations. Click to investigate a specific station and find clickable schedules for daily broadcasts. The "Listen Now" option brings the staion in over your computer. The WRN Podcast page offers listeners the choice of downloading as mp3s for later listening. The audio files are available using either Real Player and Windows Media Player. You can get these from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): chinese (50), french (89), greek (41), italian (34), radio (27), russia (38), russian (28), spanish (109)

In the Classroom

Use this opportunity to introduce your students to the sounds of other culture or to hep develop listenting skills in a world language. High school social studies classes will benefit from following currenet events stories as portrayed in othe English-speaking media.
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Musical Freeze Improvisations - Matt Buchanan

Grades
6 to 10
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This lesson is intended to teach improvisation and invention, and to introduce the idea of creating story from movement, rather than the other way around. It also works well as ...more
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This lesson is intended to teach improvisation and invention, and to introduce the idea of creating story from movement, rather than the other way around. It also works well as a warm up. It is a variation of musical chairs, but the movement (not the freezing itself) is the important part. It is designed to show students the different aspects of body movement as well as different interpretations by different individuals. While great as a warm-up exercise, this also works well with students who are "stiff" actors or who find it difficult to be natural onstage.

tag(s): acting (27)

In the Classroom

As you read a piece of literature and discuss how a character's actions are part of the characterization, use improv to help students understand how much we learn about people through their actions. If you choose to extend the literature study by having students write a character study, they can use description of actions as part of that study, as well.

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Oxfam Education - Oxfam

Grades
6 to 12
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Oxfam's Teacher Resource site contains a wealth of information about global issues and human rights. There are lesson plans on fair trade, social justice, sustainability, and a new...more
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Oxfam's Teacher Resource site contains a wealth of information about global issues and human rights. There are lesson plans on fair trade, social justice, sustainability, and a new unit on global music. Given the nature of the issues explored, there is a special teacher's guide to teaching controversial issues. The link to "Mapping our World" takes you to a great interactive look at the world and the impact of maps on our view of the world.

tag(s): environment (319)

In the Classroom

Geography teachers will love the "Mapping our World" interactive. Teachers who focus on current events will find much to explore. Oxfam as an organization clearly has a political point of view, but the depth of resources represented is remarkable.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Singing Science Records - Ballads for the Age of Science

Grades
1 to 12
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Listen to songs to teach important (and less important) science concepts. This collection of MP3 files was generated from an old set of records (yes, those round vinyl things that ...more
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Listen to songs to teach important (and less important) science concepts. This collection of MP3 files was generated from an old set of records (yes, those round vinyl things that had scratches). While the actual copyright holder information is a gray area, you can feel safe in playing the songs from the site. Most likely, these songs from the 1950s and 60s are past copyright at this point. In any case, you can click to play from smaller or larger file versions. Be patient while they load, even over a broadband connection. It will be worth the wait to teach parts of plants, the water cycle, weather, motion, energy, electricity, and MANY other topics with just a computer and set of speakers to help students retain the information. Most of the content is elementary to middle school age, but some is high school level. Learning support teachers seeking alternate study strategies will love this one!

tag(s): animals (287), energy (203), mammals (33), motion (62), plants (153), space (215), water (130), water cycle (34), weather (195)

In the Classroom

Include the links to specific songs for review on your teacher web site or play one of the songs as students enter the room (a sort of audio anticipatory set). You will definitely need to turn up the speakers. Elementary music teachers might want to pick up one of the songs while the students are studying these topics and teach the music and lyrics during music class!

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National Children's Folksong Registry - Education CyberPlayGround

Grades
K to 12
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Want to become a part of cyberspace history and preserve a part of our culture? Use your ipod, phone or computer to record the chants, songs, jump rope rhymes, or ...more
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Want to become a part of cyberspace history and preserve a part of our culture? Use your ipod, phone or computer to record the chants, songs, jump rope rhymes, or circle games that your students enjoy. Then submit them to the database so the students can hear themselves on the net.They can also listen to recordings made by other classes. Be part of a new way of recording oral history! Include this activity as art of your study of history and the songs people sang on the railroads, on riverboats, or as they immigrated.

tag(s): oral history (12), songs (53), speech (92)

In the Classroom

Before recording for the website use a tape recorder to have students practice speaking clearly when recording. Have older students teach younger grades a chant or song to record. Directions for recording are included on the site. Make sure you follow your school district policies for posting information on the web. Include a link on your teacher website for parents to listen to the class recordings.
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