The Week in Rap Shout-Out Contest is back from summer vacation! Our first shout of the new school year goes to Lanesville Junior-Senior High School in Lanesville, IN. For the contest, we asked you to illustrate one of this summer’s current events. Hannah drew a portrait of the late Robin Williams, who passed earlier this month.
Flocab just released a plethora of vocabulary videos for kindergarten and first grade. But it’s not just the songs and animations that are new; the accompanying exercises have entirely new formats! Here’s what to expect in these printable worksheet packets:
Students get the opportunity to step inside the story with narrative-based activities that reinforce terms from the story.
These packets are chock-full of images waited to be colored in! Activities ask students to incorporate and identify words within drawings, circle pictures that illustrate given words, create their own original artwork and more.
We know that kindergarten and first-grade learners have different needs. That’s why the K-1 packets are differentiated based on grade level. For example, kindergarten packets offer opportunities to trace words, while first grade activities ask students to put a story’s events in chronological order.
You can find these packets on the right-hand menu of any unit page by clicking the link “Exercises.” So what are you waiting for? Head over to our kindergarten and first grade vocabulary videos and dive in!
Teachers, you know your students best. That’s why we created these rich and flexible lesson ideas that can be adapted for different ages and abilities.
Tackle Vocabulary and Writing at the Same Time
- Rewriting the story using a different character’s point of view (see this activity for an example)
- Identifying the figurative language used in the lyrics
- Writing the next “chapter” of the story: What happens next?
- Identifying the conflict, climax and conclusion of the story
Here are some pairings we suggest, but we encourage you to adapt these ideas for your students’ needs! Let us know how you combined units in the comments section below.
|Grade||Vocab Song||Activity Suggestion||ELA Skill|
|2nd||“Stranded!”||Tell the story from Leila’s point of view||Point of View|
|Map or outline the story’s plot elements||Plot Elements|
|Identify the story’s main idea||Main Idea|
|5th||“Water Balloon Fight”||Tell the story from D’s point of view||Point of View|
|Rewrite the story using at least 8 transition words||Transition Words|
|Identify uses of metaphor in the song lyrics||Figurative Language|
|8th||“It’s Alright”||Create an outline for a speech for the congresswoman||POWER to Write|
|Use persuasive language in writing the speech||Persuasive Language|
|Present the speech to the class||Public Speaking|
|12th (SAT)||“Friends”||Tell the story from Brandon or the girlfriend’s point of view||Point of View|
|Incorporate descriptive language for all five senses||Descriptive Language|
Identify uses of consonance and assonance in the song lyrics
Brooklyn, N.Y., August 4, 2014 – Flocabulary, an online library of educational hip-hop songs and videos, announces that its The Week in Rap series has been selected by Wisconsin Media Lab as a new resource to be made available for all educators and students in the state. Starting August 1, Flocabulary’s original weekly current events series for kids is available to Wisconsin residents at WIMediaLab.org, as a result of a unique licensing partnership.
“We are absolutely thrilled to be partnering with Wisconsin Media Lab, an organization that shares our commitment to providing students and teachers with access to high-quality educational resources,” said Alex Rappaport, CEO and Co-Founder of Flocabulary.
Wisconsin Media Lab collaborates with educators throughout the state to curate cost-free classroom content designed to meet the unique needs of educators and students. The Week in Rap was selected by Wisconsin Media Lab after a student recommended the series during a call for suggestions to the organization’s community. After an evaluation period by the Wisconsin Media Lab’s community of users, The Week in Rap was chosen for the organization’s collection of educational programs.
“Wisconsin educators have been asking for a current events program. The Week in Rap is spot-on,” said Kristin Leglar, Content and Outreach Manager at Wisconsin Media Lab. “The Week in Rap is engaging, will appeal to many students and ultimately increase student achievement. Wisconsin Media Lab is ecstatic about our partnership with Flocabulary.”
The Week in Rap is a hip-hop music video series highlighting top domestic, international and pop-culture news each week. Schools and educators across the country implement the series with their students to generate classroom discussion and written reflection on important news stories. Each video in The Week in Rap comes with interactive lyrics, allowing students to access more information and additional coverage of the news items featured. Fill-in-the-blanks and activities, such as crossword puzzles or trivia quizzes, also accompany the videos. Flocabulary produces content for all K-12 grade levels spanning the core academic subjects, including math, science, social studies, ELA and vocabulary, in addition to The Week in Rap. Flocabulary’s math and ELA resources are aligned to the Common Core, and its vocabulary program has demonstrated effectiveness in improving student achievement on state reading tests.
Flocabulary is a Brooklyn, NY-based online library of educational hip-hop songs and videos for grades K-12. Over 20,000 schools use Flocabulary to engage and inspire students. The company’s team of artists and educators is not only committed to raising test scores, but also to fostering a love of learning in every child. For more on Flocabulary, visit www.flocabulary.com or connect with us on Twitter or Facebook.
About Wisconsin Media Lab
Wisconsin Media Lab is a division of the Educational Communications Board. The multimedia content available at WIMediaLab.org connects to Wisconsin’s academic standards and is vetted by practicing educators. Wisconsin Media Lab’s goal is to provide Wisconsin educators with high-quality multimedia resources that engage students, inspire creativity, cultivate critical thinking, explain difficult content and improve student achievement. Discover hundreds of classroom resources at WIMediaLab.org, then find lesson ideas and giveaways at Wisconsin Media Lab’s Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook pages.
Here at Flocabulary, we believe it’s important for students to experience real-world applications of the subjects they study in school. We also know how important it was for us to have role models—people who inspired us to dream, create and learn. That’s why our co-founder and CEO, Alex Rappaport, partnered with an organization in our Brooklyn neighborhood, the DUMBO Improvement District, to create Big Idea Week.
Big Idea Week, which took place May 19-23 this year, is a project-based STEM curriculum designed to immerse students in the entrepreneurial mindset, allowing them to explore problem-solving and teamwork through innovation. This year, our fourth-grade friends at P.S. 307, a neighborhood school, started the week with a workshop led by Brooklyn-based entrepreneurs (from companies like Tattly, Pensa, BioLite and JRSportBrief), who shared their stories about the entrepreneurial process—from problem, to idea, to product. Since each company represented a tech-centric design, engineering or content-creating business, these founders served as real-life STEM role models for the students.
Thanks to our partners at Maker’s Row, another DUMBO company, we also unveiled a prototype of the PillowKet, a design from fifth grade students Jaylin Francois, Angelina DiLone and Hannah Hamilton, who participated last year’s Big Idea Week.
Throughout the week, students talked about identifying problems and brainstorming solutions in their classrooms, and split into groups to develop their own creative product ideas. To wrap up the week, students presented their ideas to us (along with other guests and business leaders, including Brian Lemond from Brooklyn United), showing off their fantastic drawings and allowing us to ask lots of questions. Some of the ideas we heard included: a combined rollerblade and ice skate, the “Double Skater”; a serpent-shaped vacuum, the “Snake Cleaning Slither Machine”; a combined car seat/walker/high chair for babies, the “Mood & Motion 3-in-1 Convertible Chair”; and many others.
This week, students are going on a field trip to visit the folks they met from BioLite and Pensa to check out their labs, and see where they develop all of their cool inventions. The students will also get a tour of Brooklyn Bridge Park, a park that sits on the edge of the East River, itself a “big idea” since it provides a new place for New Yorkers to enjoy nature in a space that was once vacant.
Over the years, we have seen some amazing student rap creations. Want to have students make their own raps or videos? Here’s everything you’ll need to get started.
1. Choose a Beat
Have students check out these free Flocab beats. Once they find a favorite, right click on the beat title at the bottom of the page and click “Save Link As” to download the Mp3.
2. Write Lyrics
Start with our lesson plans for writing academic rhymes. You’ll learn how to lead students through writing rhymes, incorporating figurative language, and more. Have them choose their own topics or work with specific concepts from their coursework.
Want to record the track as an Mp3? On a Mac, students can use the free app GarageBand to record and mix their raps. They can simply drag the Flocab beat Mp3 into a new project and start rapping over it. For PC users, Audacity is a great free recorder and sound editor.
Students can stop after making the Mp3, or can take the project further. You can make a playlist of class projects in iTunes and burn it to CD so that students have a collection of their classmates’ songs. Students can also use the Mp3 as the audio track for their own rap music videos.
There are many ways to record students’ performances. Many computers and smart phones have cameras built in. The quickest, easiest way to make a video is to play the beat in the classroom and record students rapping over it. For a more in-depth project, students can record audio separately (using the resources above), then sync up audio and video together using free editing software.
On a Mac, you can use the video feature in the Photo Booth app that comes with the computer to record. Then you can edit your movie using the free iMovie app. On a PC, you can use Windows Movie Maker. Click here for a list of other free video editing tools.
Students can easily upload their videos to YouTube to share with the world. Click here for instructions on how to upload videos. To share audio, you can create a free account for your class on Bandcamp. Then you can share students’ videos and songs with us in the comments below! (Provided you have parent and student permission, of course )
It’s that simple. Students can express themselves, collaborate, practice using figurative language and learn more about a topic in one fell swoop. Leave links to your students’ creations in the comments below. We can’t wait to see what your students come up with!