While in school, I never had a teacher who made learning history, geography, or social studies fun and exciting. It wasn’t until a music teacher taught a “50 States” song, that I realized I could retain and memorize facts. So, when I became a music teacher, I wanted my student’s to not only learn the objectives I was required to teach, but also make learning other subjects fun by integrating them with music. If you are a music or social studies teacher, or a homeschooling mom, who is looking for ways to make learning our history and social studies fun, then here are some music and social studies integration ideas for kids.
Music from Around the World
One of my favorite things to teach is music from around the world. I have a great list of songs from around the world and from other cultures to use with elementary kids HERE. A lot of times kids haven’t learned music from other cultures and love learning the songs, dances, stories, and instruments that they may not be familiar with. A great way to connect the music the kids are learning to where it originates from is by having the student’s find the country on the map and making that country the “country of the month”. Great instruments to teach about are the djembe, Native American flute, and the steel drum.
Learning the 50 States
A great song to teach about the 50 states is “50 Nifty United States”. I like this song because not only does it teach about the 50 states and colonies, but has a fun rhythm and talks about how each state is important. There are so many great states songs that have been written, but this one is so good and I promise will get stuck in your student’s heads.
Name those President’s
While learning about the president’s, a good way to remember the names of them and their order is by creating a rap. Print out a list of the presidents and try saying their names with a steady beat. To make it even more fun, try tapping a drum beat or making a rhythm while speaking.
Songs about History
There are so many great songs that teach about history or tie in great with a history unit. Student’s can learn songs about wars, important people, about our country, and about the world. I did a whole program based around Martin Luther King Jr. where student’s sang and recited poetry all about this amazing leader. When the unit was done in music, student’s were more aware of who he was, about his life, and by memorizing the songs, they will be able to retain this information for years to come.
I recently saw a video where the teacher was really bringing history alive for his students. Watch it here.
How do you enjoy making learning come alive for your kids or student’s? Do they enjoy singing to retain what they are learning? Really, any lesson can be made into a song and learning can be fun.
If you are a parent, student, or teacher who wants to learn more about music, connect with other musicians, or wants to post their latest videos of what they’ve been working on, I would love for you to join my Facebook group Music Education Connection. Collaborate, learn from each other, and grow new friendships. This is a place to receive encouragement, positive feedback, and to ask questions.