We Didn’t Start the Fire: A Brief History of the U.S.A.

Scott Allsop has taken Billy Joel’s We Didn’t Start the Fire and created an educational video that depicts all the historical events that Joel sings about. Tracey Osborn uses Allsop’s video and takes it even further. Osborn created this webpage that provides the song’s lyrics and hyper-links all of the historical events metioned to related online resources. Wow!!! I could see some kids just going crazy with this kind of activity. You know they’ll even do this at home and come back the next day still talking about all the history that they’ve absorbed.

You can watch the video here…

…or you can also view/download this video (and many other great videos for use in the classroom) from the awesomely cool TeacherTube.com.

What impact do you think this kind of lesson would have?

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Clif Mims is a Christian, husband, father, teacher, cancer warrior, and fan of the Mississippi State Bulldogs and Memphis Grizzlies.

8 thoughts on “We Didn’t Start the Fire: A Brief History of the U.S.A.”

  1. Hi Clif,

    Many thanks for finding my video and writing this post about it! I thought I’d let you know that I have updated the video (one of the photos was anachronistic and so I’ve fixed that) and the new version is now on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O8N7jRpEzsY

    I have also launched a new website for my resources at http://www.mrallsophistory.com/ It’s rather bare at the moment, but more material will be added in time. However, something that is available is my We Didn’t Start the Fire lesson overview – 5/6 weeks worth of lessons built around deconstructing the song and then getting the students to create their own updated version using criteria for “significance” that they define in the earlier lessons. I’ve done the sequence for the past couple of years adn it never fails to amaze me how much the students get out of it. You can find the materials at http://www.mrallsophistory.com/fire.html

  2. Stumbled on your blog while looking for some ideas to share with my teachers. Rock On! I gotta add you to my aggregator.

  3. I think these resources would make a positive impact. I agree with Clif-I probably learned more from the resources in this post than I ever did in a classroom lesson. We need to see more of this kind of instruction in schools.

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