When I began school this year, I decided to create a class playlist – finding music that encapsulated what we did for each day in class and posting it in the room for all to see. Not only will this give my students a “headline” of what we did that day, but it will both expose them to different music (I was upset they had not heard of The Pixies) and force me to reflect upon my lessons daily. This activity was inspired by the book Making Thinking Visible by Ron Ritchart, Mark Church, and Karin Morrison and developed through conversations about this book that I had with Dave Wallace (@DaveJWallace).
The discussion of the songs is not a focal part of the class, but a bonus for those who are interested (like a classroom “Easter Egg*”). Each day, I write out the song title and artist on a whiteboard and tweet it out with a video or links to the lyrics. I like the idea that a classroom (like the hit show Arrested Development) can be a layered experience.**
My ultimate goal is to bring interested students into this music activity and have already gotten a few suggestions from them (which they promised will be the clean versions of songs from now on). This way, I will be able to see if my lesson’s focus matches up from their perspective.
So without further adieu, here is the Absolute Monarchy’s Ultimate Class Playlist!
Topic: Forms of Government
Song: What is
Love? Gov? by Haddaway
Topic: Positives and Negatives of Different Forms of Government
Song: I Hope that Something Better Comes Along by Rowlf and Kermit
Topic: The Sinking of the Spanish Armada
Song: The Impossible by Joe Nichols
Topic: The Decline of the Spanish Empire
Song: Hurt by Johnny Cash (or Nine Inch Nails)
Topic: Introduction to Louis XIV and Absolutism
Song: It’s Good to Be King by Tom Petty
Topic: The Rise of Louis XIV and the House of Bourbon
Song: The House of the Rising Sun by The Animals
Song: We Built This City by Starship
Topic: The effects that the 30 Years War, French-Dutch Wars, and War of the Spanish Succession had on France.
Song: War (What is it Good For?) by Edwin Starr
Topic: Peter the Great and the Supremacy of Western Fashion
Song: Sharp Dressed Man by ZZ Top
Topic: Westernization and Peter the Great
Song: Walk Like
an Egyptian a European by The Bangles
Topic: Charles I and the English Civil War
Song: Times They Are a-Changing by Bob Dylan
Topic: James II and the Glorious Revolution
Song: Beat It by Michael Jackson
Topic: Students Created a Graphic Organizer for Absolute Monarch’s Unit
Song: Pick Up the Pieces by Average White Band
If you have any questions on the songs mentioned, feel free to ask!