The adventures of a fourth grade teacher in East Central Illinois.

Teaching Strategies: YouTube

Today is the first real day of Spring Break here in Champaign, Mahomet, and Urbana. I had earlier stated on Twitter that I would not be posting anything today, but I just found this awesome YouTube channel that I wanted to share with all of you. (Shout out to Edna Lee at Regurgitated Alpha Bits for sharing this on her blog!)

The channel consists of surprisingly well-made (for amateurs) music videos of 52 different events in history, put to popular music. Some of the songs are contemporary, such as the story of the French Revolution set to Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance while others use hits from the 1980s, such as Tainted Love by Soft Cell to tell the story of the Trojan War. There are even some Beatles tunes thrown in. Some of the videos are better than others, but they are fun and would be great to share in the classroom.

Except, of course, for that nagging problem that seemingly every school district in the nation has blocked access to YouTube. This channel alone provides an excellent argument for allowing teachers and staff access to sites that are blocked to students. There are lots of ways around this, of course, and a quick Google search can give you directions on how to take advantage of any number of them. (Edna Lee even offers a way to rip YouTube videos, but I’ve never used it and I have no idea what the legality of it is, so I’ll leave you to find your own methods of acquiring the content).

Anyway, I thought I’d share a few of my favourite videos from History for Music Lovers!

First up, but in no particular order, is the Trojan War:


Then a history of the French Revolution:


Then we take a trip to Africa to learn about Mansa Musa:


A bit more of ancient Greek history:


And, finally, 80s German punk rock helps us learn about Beowulf:


What I love most of all from these videos is the fact that these are real teachers who did these! I can only imagine how much fun their classes must be. But not just fun–you can tell that these are teachers who take their role of educating seriously, but they understand that you can’t teach by just telling the students the information. Young minds need something to capture their attention. Bravo to Ms. B and her coworkers for going out and finding a way to do more than just the minimum requirements of their jobs!

Edit: Amy Burvall (Ms. B) found this review and has left a comment explaining more about what they do and their plans for the future.


One response

  1. amy burvall

    Thank you for this glowing revue! I stumbled upon it this evening. Yes, we are real teachers and definitely take our work seriously…we have loads of fun making these and soon will have a website out where the videos, lyrics, and mp3s will be available. If our endeavors can help get the wonderful resource that is YouTube unblocked at schools (at least for teachers!) that would be the feather in our caps!
    Mrs.. B (Amy Burvall) of Historyteachers (there are only 2 of us, btw)

    March 22, 2011 at 2:54 am

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