Most of us that teach US History have a genuine passion for the subject. Yet we sometimes get caught up in teaching about dynamic people, landmark events and laws, and important dates. At times this can be boring and less than stimulating to our students. Good teachers are constantly looking for better ways to instruct and motivate their students.
One of the ways I have used in the classroom is to use music as a technique. Music can be a meaningful “window” into the past. I have found great success in using this method. Attached are power points for some of the songs of an era that you can use in the class room as a change of pace in your teaching.
Because of copyright restrictions, I am unable to send you the actual music. To get the music you can find virtually all of the music on You Tube. If you are unable to locate the music on the internet, send me an email and I will burn a CD for a small fee and mail it to you.
I’ve Been Working on the Railroad
Sung by: various artists (available on YouTube)
Relevance: building the railroad
Other songs that could be used –
Camptown Races – The Duhks
Crossing the Plains
The Glendy Burke
Green Grows the Laurel
Michael Row Your Boat Ashore
Oh! Susanna – Michelle Shocked
Shenandoah – Zesty Seaman’s Chorus
Sweet Betsy from Pike