I'm a rebel just for kicks, now
I been feeling it since 1966, now
Portugal. The Man
When a baseball player walks up to bat, you will often hear a song being played. Each player has a different song and that song means something to the player. This is commonly referred to as a walk-up song.
I adopted Feel It Still by Portugal. The Man as my unofficial school walk-up song last year. I was born in the 60's, my teen years were in the 80's and being a 'rebel just for kicks' seems to perfectly encompass my attitude. (And yes, I am very aware of the privilege I have to be able to say that.)
I would occasionally ask a student what their walk-up song was last year, but that is a really hard thing to do without some serious (or maybe not so serious) thought. This year I have decided to make the question my first homework assignment of the year.
The students will be asked to pick a song that will tell me something about who they are. We will discuss what makes a song school appropriate and how we must be aware that public behavior may have to be different than private behavior. This is a very important continuous discussion with junior high students. This will also be a great time to discuss how social studies is much more than studying history and geography.
The students will share the lyrics they feel reflect themselves and we will listen to a snippet of it. My goal is to get a feel for what they think it is important I know about them as well as what kinds of music they are listening to. This will help inform some of my music choices for the class as well. Maybe we will make a class playlist too.
I would love some feedback on this idea. What would you do differently? What questions would you ask? How would you modify this lesson to work in your classroom?
Something to add to this... Years ago when I was just a regular old social studies teacher, we used to use walk up songs before presentations. It was fabulous.ReplyDelete
Then think about how you can incorporate this throughout the year. I totally forgot exactly what you're teaching right now, but you can do an assignment on pick a walk up song for a certain character that you're studying, or a walk up song for a certain city or culture.
That is a great idea, of course I would have to nix anyone wanting to use a Hamilton soundtrack song for Hamilton ;)Delete
Maybe also looking at this slightly differently could help. Maybe the kids could pick the "line that defines them." They share that line and then the song from it. Could be more powerful than just picking a song. The song they pick could be chosen just because fun song they like it, kind of like they just like eating ice cream. But they might take picking an individual line that defines them more seriously and look deeper into the lyrics Before choosing the song. Then I wonder if course, where you can go with that other times in the year. Look at the end of the year do the same thing. Choose the line of a song that they wish to follow in the future...ReplyDelete
My voice to text did pretty well in the comment above :-)Delete
Voice to text worked really well. I like the idea of a line from the song, the reality that is what made me chose mine. Lots of great ideas, thanks Paul.Delete
Love this idea. A bit of fun to open the door to student self-reflection and self-disclosure. If you do this, you might have to preemptively ban VH's "Hot for Teacher." ;)ReplyDelete
I am a big fan of baseball walkup songs. Big fan. It helps me see players in a new way and can create a fun or dramatic atmosphere. Here are a few thoughts.ReplyDelete
1. I have 185 students, but I could create ONE YouTube playlist for each class and then in the "about" of the playlist list the songs by students so I can find them quickly for walkup moments.
2. I love the idea of having a students song playing while students are entering the room between periods. I could do one a week for the year, maybe two a week.
3. You know how baseball players will change their walkup song to change their luck. It would be cool to let students change their walkup song if they find a better one or want to change their luck or signal a change in their life. You could leave the original list public to see how students changed. Maybe let them revisit it once a quarter or season.
These are all great. This is why I prefer to post half thought-through ideas. I get so much great stuff when I do. :)Delete
I can't wait to hear what Sam choosesReplyDelete
Have him start thinking about it. If he has it ready he can share his which might help get the rest to buy-in.Delete