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 me 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 –
Fever – Little Willie John
Get a Job – The Silhouettes
No Particular Place to Go – Chuck Berry
One-eyed, One-Horned Flying Purple People Eater
Rock Around the Clock – Bill Haley
Shake, Rattle and Roll – Big Joe Turner
Any early Elvis Presley songs, any Chuck Berry songs, and any Ricky Nelson songs
Sung by: Malvina Reynolds (available on YouTube)
Relevance: 1950s society of conformity
Death of Emmett Till
Sung by: Bob Dylan (available on YouTube)
Relevance: beginning of Civil Rights Movement
Other songs that could be used –
Are You Now or Have You Ever Been? – Anne Feeney
House on Unamerican Activities Blues – Bob Dylan
Russians - Sting