Tag Archives: educational rap

Declaration of Independence Rap – MC LaLa

Yes. He’s done it again ladies and gentlemen. Frequent Flocab contributor and educational rap maven MC LaLa is back with an awesome, original music video and song on one of the most important documents in American history.

As always, a very big thanks to Peter DiLalla, a.k.a. MC LaLa for this contribution to the Hip-Hop Classroom.


3 Titans: A Hip-Hop Ode To Knowledge And 'College'

Check this out: three 5th graders put together an awesome hip-hop song that big-ups college and higher learning. They collaborated with the celebrated Menahan Street Band (which has contributed tracks to Jay-Z, as well as working with greats like Sharon Jones and the Budos Band) – and were featured on NPR!

Challenge your students to write their own academic (or otherwise meaningful and classroom appropriate) rhymes – it’s a fantastic higher-order thinking activity, and gives your kids a chance to shine while working on their writing skills!

Read the article and listen to the song HERE.

Direct link to the track: “College3 Titans

How to save the Earth – the 1 Minute Hip-Hop Guide!

A fantastic addition to the educational hip-hop canon: “One Minute to Save the Earth”by Dan Bull. This is his entry into the 1minutetosavetheearth short film competition, and he raps 30 tips to help stave off climate change catastrophe – all in one minute!

PS/IS 150 in Brooklyn: The School of Rap

Meet Craig Campbell and his students, at PS/IS 150 in Brownsville, NY. Mr. Campbell and his students created the “School of Rap,” using Flocabulary as inspiration for their own brand of Hip-Hop in the Classroom.

Check out the pics, and listen to a song the class recorded below. Dare I say, the production is truly ahead of its time and the rhymes just get stuck in your head. We’ve been singing it at Flocabulary for days!

Craig Campbell got in touch with us with an amazing story of turning “disinterested rebels” into “engaged students” with Flocabulary programs (in his case, Hip-Hop U.S. History).

Mr. Campbell writes,

“My students’ interest in Flocabulary got me thinking. I had some Mac computers with Garageband software, a personal interest in home recording and, low and behold, a talented 7th grader named Pablo who could play piano and program beats. Soon we were writing lyrics, positive and school appropriate, as modeled in Flocabulary. We called ourselves School of Rap and recorded about six songs. Everyone had a chance to rap… Interest in all subjects increased and conflict in the classroom lessened. The class was obviously proud.”

Way to go, School of Rap. You all did a fantastic job, and we know your talent and motivation will lead you all to great things.

Manifest Destiny Rap

Here at Flocabulary, we love to hear new artists make educational hip-hop music.  Take a look at this clip of MC DiLaLa and his academic rap, “Manifest Destiny.”  The song eloquently covers the history behind “Manifest Destiny” – how the United States grew from 13 colonies to the 50 states and several territories that exist today.  The simple beat and catchy lyrics makes it easy for everyone to become more familiar with the history behind the Manifest Destiny.

Check it out!

Rhyme ‘n Learn

Joe Ocando was teaching middle school in Washington Heights NYC as part of the Teach For America program when he thought of starting Rhyme n’ Learn. Inspired by Flocabulary, and “particularly concerned with the low numbers of US citizens in graduate STEM programs,” Joe began creating math and science raps. Citing research results from the Teacher’s College at Columbia University, Joe continues to create high-interest “edu-raps,” and bolstering what more and more people already know: hip-hop in the classroom works!

Lewis and Clark Rap

Props to Peter DiLalla (MC LaLa) for this edu-rap about Lewis and Clark, the great American explorers. Flocabulary was at the National Middle School Association in Indianapolis, IN when Peter approached us. He said he had written some educational hip-hop – when we heard it, we knew it had to end up on Hip-Hop Classroom!

Keep up the fantastic work MC LaLa. We expect to hear (and vibe with) great things from you!

More and more high profile educators are using hip-hop…

Here at Flocabulary, we’re always excited to see educators who motivate students using music. MSNBC’s “Nightly News with Brian Williams” recently featured the trailblazing KIPP (Knowledge Is Power Program) Charter Schools: as a part of their groundbreaking approach to fostering achievement, KIPP schools make education more engaging using hip-hop music as well as other student-friendly exercises. The program has a dramatically promising record of taking under-privileged students and enabling them to succeed.

While KIPP has proved highly successful, there are also others making a difference in education using music – such as California English teacher Alan Sitomer who teaches poetry by incorporating people and concepts relevant to his students, like famous rapper Tupac Shakur. Go here to read more about Sitomer’s approach.

Meanwhile, professor and researcher Shuaib Meacham discovered the power of hip-hop in educational settings as far back as 2003. He says, “Teachers are going to have to not only understand what hip-hop is all about but also use it effectively in order to teach young people.” Click here to learn more about his research, and his efforts in promoting the use of hip-hop in the classroom.

It’s spreading: hip-hop in the classroom!

Fun = mass x acceleration

Who said science can’t be fun? FMA Live – which takes its name from Newton’s famous equation, “force = mass x acceleration” – is a national tour that uses fun activities and performances to get students excited about science. Earlier this week, FMA Live performers featured rap songs and dances in a series of shows at Liverpool Middle School. Try to catch the show at a city near you!

Hip-hop singers, dancers teach Liverpool students science

By Steve Billmyer

September 21, 2009, 1:42PM

This story by contributing writer Darren Benda.

Students jumping on Velcro walls, teachers sumo-wrestling, a hovering teacher hit with a pie in the face and a Sir Isaac Newton video were all highlights of a national science/hip-hop concert tour today at Liverpool High School.

The concert — called FMA Live! after Sir Isaac Newton’s Second Law (force = mass x acceleration) — had three shows for Liverpool middle school students this morning.

Sponsored by Honeywell and NASA, the tour’s goal is to inspire the next generation to pursue careers in science, math, engineering and technology, said Eric Olsen, co-host of FMA Live! and spokesman for the tour.

Olsen said the sponsors feel students aren’t following science, so the show tries to teach students the basics of Newton’s Laws in a fun way.

“It’s all about making science fun for the kids through a big demonstration, acting, singing and dancing,” Olsen said.

Three performers, Olsen, Katie Adler and J.J. Hopson, rapped, sang, danced and performed, with the help of Chestnut Hill Middle School students and teachers.

Chestnut Hill Principal Peter Ianzito said the integration of teaching through hip hop and dancing made it more hands-on for the students, as opposed to reading about Newton from a textbook.

“Education is all about being interactive,” he said. “The timing of the show, the variety of the videos, the music and dancing really captured the audience.”

The group is on a 10-week, 20-city tour. This is the only show in Central New York.

Doctor raps about H1N1

Dr. John Clarke, medical director for the Long Island Rail Road in New York, recorded this rap song on preventing the spread of the H1N1 flu virus.  In the song, he raps about ways to protect yourself from contracting the virus.  Clarke recorded the song for a competition by the Department of Health and Human Services and became a finalist for the best swine flu public service announcement.  Check it out!

The rap became popular and eventually gained attention from the media. In addition to several newspapers reporting the story, Fox News briefly showed a clip of the rap and conducted an interview to hear what Dr. Clarke had to say! Here’s the story: