5 ways to empower student voice in the classroom
When you find a tool that supports student voice and choice, you know you have found the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. Flocabulary is one of those tools!
Flocabulary is a learning program for all grades that uses educational hip-hop music to engage students and increase achievement across the curriculum. We will dive into a few of my favorite ways to leverage Flocabulary to encourage and support student voice such as Lyric Lab, life skills, and Flocabulary’s student contests. Let’s get started!
1. Lyric Lab
Lyric lab is one of my absolute favorite tools to support student voice and engagement! It is a space where students or even adults can write academic rhymes that align with content being taught or shared in class. Flocabulary’s videos engage, the instructional tools help students with mastering content, and Lyric Lab gives them a safe space to be creative with their writing while also continuing to learn more about the rich vocabulary that Flocabulary is so well-known for.
Take a look at how it works:
2. Showing students that they belong in our classrooms
Showing our students that they belong in our classrooms – that they belong in ALL spaces – is so important. When considering what tech tools or content we provide to our students it is crucial to consider if they will feel a sense of belongingness because of it. Not only does Flocabulary address content areas such as math and science but it also addresses human issues such as social emotional learning, racial and social justice, and health and wellness. As you are browsing through the lessons, check out the Life Skills section to explore this more.
3. Week in Rap Shout-Out Contest
With Flocabulary’s Week in Rap, students are able to engage and relate to current events that spark meaningful conversations and offer a wider view of THEIR world. With these videos also comes shout-outs. Have you ever wondered how students and their schools get those shout-outs? Students create a rap or poem that highlights their take on the story of the week and how it relates to themselves, their community and the world. Each Thursday evening, Flocabulary will alert the lucky school and they will have about one week to submit a video or a photo that will be featured in Week in Rap (Grades 6-12) or Week in Rap Junior (Grades 3-5). Are you ready for that shout-out?
4. Vocab Cards
While Flocabulary’s videos engage and amp up the excitement for different content areas and topics, the Vocab Cards within the lesson sequence give students the opportunity to build upon their knowledge of the vocabulary taught through creative writing and drawing. This is another way that Flocabulary supports student voice and choice! Each card contains the word and definition(s), as well as the part of speech and an example of it used in a sentence. They can even have the word and definition(s) read to them. They can take it even further by writing with the word and illustrating it. Talk about engagement!
5. Flocabulary’s Student Contests
When the time comes, I encourage you to check out Flocabulary’s Student Contests! During the month of February, students can participate in the Black History Month Rap Contest. Students are encouraged to research and develop a poem or rap that celebrates under-recognized Black historical figures. Another contest that students can participate in is the Celebrating Latinx Identities Contest. From about the middle of September to the middle of October, students are once again encouraged to research and write about an event, person, tradition, or identity tied to Latinx culture. The winning students have their lyrics turned into a Flocabulary lesson and get to be involved in the lesson creation process! Each of these events inspire and connect students to the world around them as well as their individual identities and interests.
Take a look at past winning entries that were made into Flocab lessons:
- Black History Month Contest 2018: John Lewis & Nonviolent Action
- Celebrating Latinx Identities 2020: Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz
- Celebrating Latinx Identities 2020: José Hernández
- Black History Month Contest 2021: Emmett Till
- Black History Month Contest 2021: Fannie Lou Hamer
Pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, right?! Flocabulary’s content is engaging, relevant, meaningful, and timely. It can sometimes give a voice to those that need it and a space for many to express themselves freely. It is so much more than engaging videos.
It is so much more.