The Freshman Transition Network

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PART TWO - Use Music to Inspire and Connect with Students

Recently I posted about ways to use music in the classroom and a list of specific songs that can be used. This post is a follow up to that earlier one. The first part of this post before the list of songs is copied verbatim from the original post.

Kids respond to music. Use it to teach them lessons about life and to express your hopes for them. Use it to let them know you love them. Don't just wait for teachable moments to come along. Instead use music to create teachable moments.

Here are 2 ideas for how you can use these songs:

1. Use the song as a Do Now/Bell Ringer activity in your classroom. Make a PowerPoint with the words to the song. Then play the song and have the students read the words while they listen. After they listen to the song have them write a short reflection about how the song might apply to their lives, or about why they think you chose the song, or about what they can learn from the song. Give them a moment to share what they wrote. Then take a moment to share with them your feelings and thoughts.

2. The 2nd idea is very similar to the first. The only difference is that you first take digital pictures of your students and put them into a PowerPoint. While the students listen to the song, you play the PowerPoint of their pictures. Kids love seeing themselves in a presentation and it makes the message of the song hit home a little stronger.

With both of these ideas I would recommend trying to do it at least once a month - maybe even more often. The kids will begin to look forward to the times when you bring music into the classroom. Even more, they will appreciate the fact that you take the time to open up and share with them about more than just content.

With each of the songs listed below, I have included a short idea about how you can use it to teach your students. By clicking on the song title you can go to Amazon.com and download an MP3 version of it. If you have any other songs to suggest, please do so as a reply to this post.

1. Dancing in Circles - Love and Theft
Teach your students about the importance of loving each other and of treating others with respect.

2. Our Lives - The Calling
We have to make the most of our lives and not waste a day. We have responsibilities toward our fellow man.

3. Live Like We're Dying - Kris Allen
Similar message to Our Lives - make the most of the time you have. Live for a purpose.

4. Mountains - Lonestar
There are many obstacles in life, but overcoming them makes you strong.

5. If Today Was Your Last Day - Nickelback
The important things in life are what we would do if it was our last day. Why wait until then to do what's important?

6. Love's the Only House - Martina McBride
We are called to love others. How can we, in our normal daily lives, show love to others?

7. Fifteen - Taylor Swift
To often when you're young you only see the here and now. Making decisions based on that can lead to heartache.

So, does anyone have any songs to add to the list?  And for tons more ideas like these, visit GOBEYONDTHECONTENT.COM!

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