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.
Please email for the additional power points.
Another teaching suggestion is to play “theme music” as your students are entering your room to “set the mood.” What I mean is play music of the era to kick off your lesson. The following songs might be played –
Play any Woody Guthrie music
The Great Depression
All In and Down and Out Blues
Sung by: Uncle Dave Mason (available on YouTube)
Brother Can You Spare a Dime?
Sung by: Bing Crosby (available on YouTube)
God Bless America
Sung by: Kate Smith (available on YouTube)
Sung by: Arlo Guthrie (available on YouTube)
Noboby Knows You When You’re Down and Out
Sung by: Bessie Smith
Roll On Columbia
Sung by: Woody Guthrie (available on YouTube)
Sung by: Billy Holiday (available on YouTube)
Which Side Are You On?
Sung by: Anne Feeney (available on YouTube)
Relevance: Labor Unions
Other songs that could be used –
Big Rock Candy Mountain – Haywire Mac
Chattanooga Choo Choo – Glenn Miller
Deportees – Woody Guthrie
Happy Days Are Here Again – Ben Selvin
If You Ain’t Got the Do, Re, Mi – Woody Guthrie
Life Is Just a Bowl of Cherries
Over the Rainbow – Judy Garland
Remember My Forgotten Man
Seven Cent Cotton and Forty Cent Meat – Pete Seeger
Solidarity Forever – Pete Seeger
This Land Is Your Land – Woody Guthrie
Vigilante Man – Woody Guthrie
We’re In the Money – A. Dublin
What Did I Do to Be So Black and Blue? – Louis Armstrong