Songs in the Key of Science
Ted Banta, Pahoa High and Intermediate School, Science
email me for lyrics - 965-2165 ext. 123
download songs -

Everybody knows repetition is important in learning. So is enjoyment.

Songs are a way to keep kids learning science concepts all year long, and actually requesting, sometimes demanding, review sessions! It's a good way to break the ice on new concepts, get them familiar with the new vocabulary and concepts before notes or demonstrations.

Most of the time we are teaching new vocabulary and unfamiliar concepts at the same time. Having a handle on the vocabulary words helps students improve their confidence and focus more on the meaning in the lesson.

I write new lyrics mostly to classic rock songs because students will remember the science concepts outside of class anytime they hear the song on the radio.

How I use the songs:

1. use illustration to preview information, write notes and definition
2. hand out lyrics (with questions) – they glue it in their notebook and listen to the song
3. have students read and underline the vocabulary they think is important
4. play the song again with the kids reading or singing along – if there is no participation, I stop
5. have students answer questions in groups or as a class
6. sing the song one more time – if they sing well, play the original song as a reward
7. assign an activity to re-enforce information
l turn facts in the song into sentences or paragraphs
l do demonstration or lab
l draw pictures for each line of song to make video (using Windows Movie Maker)
l make flashcards for use on the quiz
8. give quiz or test at the beginning of the next class.

Think about how many times students use the vocabulary when they sing the songs in class, and they often sing the songs on their own. Sometimes they complain that the songs get stuck in their heads!

If you don't play guitar and sing, try using the CD with a good quality player. I also have karaoke versions of the songs which force the kids to sing.

I would like to re-record these songs with ukuleles and Hawaii-style vocals, so if you'd like to help, let me know.

I would also like to start a Teachers' Science Club of Puna to share lessons and improve teaching skills. We could meet once a month someplace in Puna. If you'd like to participate, let me know.