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Name That TuneThis post was inspired by Jamie Wheeler's answer to a question about...

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linda-allen | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted March 5, 2008 at 5:53 PM via web

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Name That Tune

This post was inspired by Jamie Wheeler's answer to a question about genre in which she said that "The Bells" can be sung to the tune of "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing."  I love anything that helps make learning more fun, and I think kids would get a kick out of singing.

Does anybody know of any other "songs" we could sing in English class?

Here's my contribution: Emily Dickinson's poems can be sung to two different tunes: "The Yellow Rose of Texas" and "Amazing Grace."

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clane | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted March 5, 2008 at 7:49 PM (Answer #2)

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I don't have one for English, but my mom taught me one for memorizing multiplication tables when I was a little girl and I have never forgotten it. I learned the song before I ever knew what multiply meant! It was to the tune of Happy Birthday and it would go through any number to the twelves, I learned the 3's first. :)

I also learned the state song in 5th grade and I have never forgotten that, I can still recite every state in alphabetical order. We learned it from our choir teacher and it was called "The Fifty Nifty United States". I can still sing the whole thing and my students get a real kick out of it.

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malibrarian | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted March 5, 2008 at 8:34 PM (Answer #3)

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I'm hoping some of you remember how great Schoolhouse Rock songs were!!!  My 7th grade U.S. History I class memorizes the Preamble to the Constitution every year, and I always trot out my Schoolhouse Rock DVD set and play it for them.  It amuses them greatly that I sing along with it!

"Conjunction Junction, What's Your Function?" is a classic...and who can forget "Lolley, Lolley, Lolley, Get Your Adverbs Here!"  The two-disc DVD set is definitely worth having (I got mine on Amazon.com)!

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amy-lepore | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted March 7, 2008 at 6:56 AM (Answer #4)

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I like to sing the slave spirituals to and with my students when we study pre-Civil War American lit.  The same with the ballads of the Middle Ages.

Music is a wonderful teaching tool...I have my freshmen learn all the prepositions to music.  It fits perfectly with Yankee Doodle.  :)

I usually assign a soundtrack assignment for at least one of the novels we read in class every year.  I am always amazed at the songs the students put on their CD's with explanations as to why it fits and how it relates.  I ask for 6-10 songs and we usually listen to them at the end of the project and have a presentation for each.  I love this assignment, and kids get into it, too. 

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Susan Woodward | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted March 12, 2008 at 11:28 AM (Answer #5)

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I use lyrics from West Side Story and (please, forgive me) High School Musical when teaching Romeo and Juliet.  I give each group a song to analyze, and they must: 1) summarize what's going on in the song (it doesn't matter if they've never seen either of the movies... but the Disney Channel shows HSM almost every week it seems!), 2) identify lyrics that relate to R&J, 3) explain the connection, and 4) identify specific lines from R&J that could compare to the song.  From WSS I use: "The Jet Song", "Tonight", "Something's Coming", and "Maria".  From HSM I use "Get'cha Head in the Game", "The Start of Something New", and "Stick to the Status Quo". 

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deneetyler | High School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 12, 2008 at 7:42 PM (Answer #6)

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I don't know about singing poems, but I try to use music in the classroom as much as I can.  For example, I always start my Beowulf/Joseph Campbell unit out with the song "I Need A Hero," I used "Dreamweaver" for AMND, "Rockin' in the USA" and Weird Al for satire, irony, and sarcasm, etc.  Transcendentalism and music go hand in hand, and I find that listening and responding to a song gets the students primed and ready to read and think.

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Susan Woodward | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted March 13, 2008 at 3:16 AM (Answer #7)

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to #6:  I also use "A World Without Heroes" by Kiss when I do my Joesph Campbell unit.  I ask students to imagine what a world without heroes might be like and then to write about their personal hero.  This leads us into cultural heroic legends and a research paper on what values/beliefs of the culture are embodied in the legends of their heroes.

Weird Al is used (I actually went and got a DVD for the videoes!) when I teach The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul, and I have kids write their own social parodies.

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morrol | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted October 29, 2008 at 12:09 PM (Answer #8)

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I like to use "We Didn't Start the Fire" by Billy Joel, especially when we are learning about allusions.

It's also a great conversation starter because students inevitable do not know some of the topics in the song. Other students contribute their knowledge, and at the end of the hour, after many tangent on interesting issues, we return to the theme or message of the song.

Its always good times.

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted June 24, 2010 at 1:33 AM (Answer #9)

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In response to #6, I do try to incorporate elements of oral poetry when teaching texts such as Beowulf, by getting students to perform part of this poem using rhythm, music, gestures and high drama. I have encouraged students to be as creative as possible with this and have been really encouraged by the results.

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lmetcalf | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted July 7, 2010 at 8:30 PM (Answer #10)

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Name That Tune

This post was inspired by Jamie Wheeler's answer to a question about genre in which she said that "The Bells" can be sung to the tune of "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing."  I love anything that helps make learning more fun, and I think kids would get a kick out of singing.

Does anybody know of any other "songs" we could sing in English class?

Here's my contribution: Emily Dickinson's poems can be sung to two different tunes: "The Yellow Rose of Texas" and "Amazing Grace."

They can also be sung to the theme song to Gilligan's Island!

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