New Teaching Ideas

Teaching Songs and Chants Developed by Teachers for Teachers

Compiled by William N. Bender, Ph.D.

2008 New Songs/Chants for Teaching in Elementary/Middle School  

Subject Area: English/Literature

Content Topic:   Romeo +  Juliet    (done to the beat of “We will, We will, rock you!”)

Romeo + Juliet Montague + Capulet Families are enemies- Their children fall in love! Were they meant to be together? Star-crossed lovers lost in pleasure Families have no idea-

They have to sneak around. A fight occurs between some men. Tybalt kills Mercutio and then, Romeo he has to act- He kills that Tybalt Capulet!

Romeo + Juliet Montague + Capulet They make a plan to be together, But everything goes wrong!

Juliet, she drinks the potion; Romeo, he sees no motion; Thinks his love is really dead, And so he kills himself.

Juliet upon awaking Feels her little heart is breaking She kills herself to join her lover- NOW THEY’RE DECEASED AND THERE IS PEACE.

Subject: Science

Content Topic:  Photosynthesis (to the tune of Twinkle, twinkle little star)

Photosynthesis is a way, For the sun to use its rays, Plants use water and CO2, Enzymes help change it into something new, Something that is good for you Like carbohydrates and O2.

Content Topic:  States of Matter (done to the beat of “We will, We will, rock you!” Associated movements are presented just below each line in parentheses; you may use the class to slap out the rhythm, and use 5 to 8 students to do the standing/moving)      (Each time you say, “Solids” students should hold the arms up like a strong man;      (Each time you say “liquids” students should act like they are swimming: hold nose wiggle up and down      (Each time you say “gases” students should wave hands up into the air like thye are releasing a balloon)

Solids, liquids, Gases are the States of matter Molecules in solids are tightly packed together      (during the line above, have students stand in a circle, really close together, like a “smushed” group)

Molecules in liquids flow around each other      (Students standing in a circle wiggle around each other like a do si do)

Molecules in gases scatter all around!      (When saying this line, Students Spread apart and scatter around the room back to their seats)

Content Topic:   Reflection and Refraction of Light(Sung to the Tune This Little Light of Mine)

This little light of mine Travels in a straight line      (sing these 2 lines, 3 times, each time the students begin the word, “Travels”  have students point out to their left and right indicating directions of the light)

Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine! This little light of mine Bounces back sometimes       (sing these 2 lines, 3 times; each time the students singe the word “bounces” have them jump back on step)

Let it reflect, let it reflect, let it reflect

This little light of mine Bends through water and glass        (sing these 2 lines 3 times; each time the students sign the word “bends”  have them bend their bodies forward at the waist) Let it refract, let it refract, let it refract!

Subject: Mathematics

Content Topic:  Subtraction

Subtraction is a dirty work, This is what I heard; It’s really add the opposite, Then you’ll be legit!

Division is void and null, There’s really no such thing, Times (it) by the reciprocal, Of this we all can SING!

Content Topic:  Long Division(Song Title:   I’m the Divisor) (to the tune of “We are the Champions” refrain; 

Movements:  Use the  right  fist to represent the divisor, and the left hand dog to represent the house shape

I’m the divisor my friend (hold upright the right fist) I form groups in the dividend

Go to the roof top (use the left hand to represent the division problem) Then multiply me Next you subtract me Bring down the next number (point down) START Again (fist in ready position) Sometimes there’s a remainder, my friend Lift up to the rooftop Put him on the end….

The quotient is the answer The quotient is the answer

This is long division Divisor, quotient, remainder Dividend!

Content Topic: Teaching Shapes (Sung to the Tune: Mary Had a Little Lamb)

Squares and rectangles triangles too, All have sides, corners- Woo! Triangles have 3 sides to see How many angles? They have 3.

Squares and rectangles both have more And guess what? They have 4!

Circles are a different kind They just have one, in one long line

It just goes around and around and around and around!

Subject: Geography

Content Topic: Map Skill for Primary Grades

Title:  Where Do I Live? (a  rhythmic chant)

My planet is Earth, Earth. My continent is North America, North America, My country is United States, United States. My state is South Carolina, South Carolina. My city is Fort Mill, Fort Mill.

Content Topic:   Reading Maps   

(Sung to: Row, Row Row Your Boat)

North, North, North is up (have students point up) South is always down  (Have students point down) East is to the right of you (students point right) And West is all that’s left! (students point left)

Content Topic:   Another idea for Reading Maps

(chant) Nod to the North   (while facing north, students should nod) Ease to the East    (students should move a bit to their right) Slither to the South  (students should take one step back) Wiggle to the West   (students should “wiggle” to the left)