We’re nearly halfway through 2019, and Flocab has so much new content to show for it. If you don’t follow us on Pinterest, you probably don’t know about our New Lessons board, where we post our newest lessons. Never fear, this blog post will cover all our new additions since January!
When working with an ESL population, one of teacher Leah Simpson’s goals is to help students prepare for the WIDA test, an English language proficiency exam used by a number of states across the country, including her home state of Tennessee. The Warren County High School Teacher, based in McMinnville, TN, uses our Word Up Blue and The Week in Rap to help students practice Tier 2 vocabulary and bring nonfiction text into her classroom.
As part of their test preparation, students also need practice with academic vocabulary across subjects. How did Leah decide to boost subject-specific vocab with her class this year? With rhyme-writing, of course! Each of Leah’s five class periods picked a subject—math, science, social students, ELA or social/instructional language—and worked over the course of a month to compose a rap as a group. Students performed their raps for their families at Warren County High School’s ESL Family Night this fall to much celebration. Here’s what Leah told us about the experience:
Do you wish you could make writing more exciting? (Yes, we meant that to rhyme). We all know that writing is not only critically important for academic development and achievement, but is a key tool through which we can deepen our learning, communicate with others, express ourselves and be creative. But students may not always see writing as a wellspring of opportunity: a study from 2006 found that only 8% of students said they enjoy writing (HSSE, 2006).
Crafting writing exercises and assignments that resonate with students, boost engagement and support the curriculum is a challenge, then—but a solvable one. At Flocabulary, a favorite student-centered writing exercise to incorporate in lessons is, naturally, rhyme-writing! It’s as engaging as it is educational, and you don’t need to be a professional rapper to do it—check out our Writing Academic Rhymes resources here. Here are five ways that bringing rhyme-writing into your lesson has pedagogical benefit:
At Flocabulary, fostering a love of learning in every student is one of our biggest goals. We believe that motivated students are successful students. Our Student Engagement Series features stories from real Flocab-using educators on their practices, lessons, and ideas to get students excited about creating, writing, learning and dreaming.
“When children create for the world, they make it good. When children only create for their teachers, they make it good enough.” -Rushton Hurley
“My precious. My precious.” Many of you may recognize the phrase from The Lord Of The Rings. It’s a phrase spoken by Gollum, the crazy creature who hides deep in the caves. He craves the ring. He wants the ring. It’s all he can think of. What if I were to tell you that this creature exists in every school in the country? What if I were to tell you that this creature is you?
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.