Making Hip-Hop Music Videos to Bring History to Life in the Library: A Spotlight on Mt. Bethel Elementary

Last school year, Teacher-Librarian Heather Kindschy at Mt. Bethel Elementary in Marietta, GA wanted to expand on a songwriting history research project she’d led with students in the past. With a focus on project-based learning, the assignment would challenge students to work in groups to explore the stories of important historical figures from Reconstruction through the Great Depression using the Big6 Research Model. Students would then create their own music videos about these characters from history. And the project needed to be something students would get excited about. So using Flocabulary as inspiration, Heather created a hip-hop music video challenge, a project that had students eager to get to work – even during indoor recess and time before school! Here’s how she did it.  

Mt. Bethel Post Image

GarageBand + iPad!!??? by Joseph Thornton, available under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

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North Lewis Elementary School Students Host a Circus for a Week in Rap Junior Shout-Out!

Every week, we ask The Week in Rap Junior fans a question through our Shout-Out Contest, and recognize the school that responds with creativity, imagination, and educational relevance, too. Students in Kristen Strother’s class at North Lewis Elementary School in New Iberia, LA did some delightful storytelling about their very own circus to win the latest Shout-Out. Delve in to discover their masterful use of descriptive language.

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Students at W.P. McLean School Design a Better Test for a Week in Rap Shout-Out!

Every week, we celebrate student creativity through the The Week in Rap Shout-Out Contest. For last week’s Shout-Out, students in Melissa Torres’ 8th social studies class at W.P. McLean School in Fort Worth, Texas stood out with their critical thinking about improving college admissions exams. Read on to learn what they proposed!

WP Mclean School

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Helping Students Deal with Tragedy in the News

A major challenge for any teacher is knowing how to present news to students about tragic events in the world. Many students are exposed to these news stories along with the rest of us, and they’ll likely have fears, concerns and questions about the event and what it means.

What’s the best way to foster a healthy, safe and supportive environment for students to discuss and process tragedy? We asked three experts in the field of child psychology and mental health who we work with to help answer this question.

PARIS, FRANCE - NOVEMBER 16:  People weep as they gather to observe a minute-silence at the Place de la Republique in memory of the victims of the Paris terror attacks last Friday, on November 16, 2015 in Paris, France. Countries across Europe will join France, currently observing three days of national mourning, in a one minute-silence today in an expression of solidarity with the victims of the terrorist attacks, which left at least 129 people dead and hundreds more injured.  (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Image Source: Getty

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Granite Falls Elementary Students Become Marine Biologists for The Week in Rap Junior Shout-Out!

Just for our loyal The Week in Rap Junior fans, we bring a fresh Shout-Out Contest every week! Students in Mrs. Garnes 2nd grade class at Granite Falls Elementary in Granite in Falls, NC were our latest stars, after writing, drawing and even creating presentation slides about what they’d study as marine biologists! Read on to learn about their underwater explorations…

Granite Falls Elementary

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Roslyn Road School Students Deliver Winning World Series Sportscasts for a Week in Rap Shout-Out!

Each Friday, we shout-out a school based on stellar work that students submit for The Week in Rap Shout-Out Contest. For last week’s Shout-Out fame, we asked students to create some drama, and students in Mr. Carter’s 5th grade class at Roslyn Road School in Barrington, IL brought it! After covering the 14-inning Mets-Royals World Series game, we asked students to use their creative writing skills to compose a script as a sports announcer, heightening some of the edge-of-your-seat events of the game. Here’s how these winners mixed sports with storytelling…

Roslyn Road School and Flocabulary

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Washington Elementary School Students Dream Up New Volunteer Projects to Win a Week in Rap Junior Shout-Out!

Did you know that we have a Shout-Out Contest especially for our loyal Week in Rap Junior viewers? This week, students in Mr. Penny’s 4th grade class at Washington Elementary School in Union, NJ had their chance to shine after sharing their altruistic aspirations for original volunteer projects. Find out what they came up with!

Washington Elementary School

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Joseph P. Liberati Intermediate School Students Create El Niño PSA to Win a Week in Rap Shout-Out!

Every week, we challenge students to think, write and create for a chance to get their school in the spotlight with The Week in Rap Shout-Out Contest. Last week’s prompt: Create a PSA. With the recent coverage of El Niño’s effects around the world, students in Ray Hanks’ 6th grade social studies class at Joseph P. Liberati Intermediate School won our Shout-Out by researching the complex weather pattern and creating a top-notch video to inform and prepare the public. Read on to learn about their PSA-crafting skills…

Joseph P Liberati Intermediate School

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“Five Things” for NaNoWriMo

Five Things video

Flocabulary has a natural fondness for organizations with funny names. So when we heard about NaNoWriMo we were intrigued. Turns out, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month, and it’s an organization that gets people to write an entire novel in the month of November. In 2014, 300,000 adults embarked on a November noveling quest, and perhaps more impressively, 90,000 kids wrote novels in their schools with NaNoWrimo’s Young Writer’s Program!

If you and your students are writing with the NaNoWriMo Young Writers Project–or if you’re working on slightly shorter stories–our “Five Things” rap video will help your students review the five elements of a story: Plot, Character, Conflict, Theme & Setting “…yes these are the five things!” And older NaNoWriMo novelists may also enjoy getting back to the basics of the craft with our free video.

The Complete “Five Things” Lesson Plan

After you’ve watched the video, you can click on the lyrics to learn more, answer challenge questions, and analyze or plan your own story using our complete “Five Things” lesson plan and worksheet.

Happy Noveling!