We the People…

I’m old enough to remember the Schoolhouse Rock videos airing between cartoons on Saturday mornings. I really liked (most of) them as a kid. I rediscovered them years later as a classroom teacher and was even more impressed by them. Not only do these videos cover a lot of curriculum they are also artistically impressive. My wife and I are getting to enjoy all the Schoolhouse Rock fun again with our kids.

We’re looking at integrating higher order thinking skills and word processing in one of my classes right now. The following video is connected to the lesson. Reminisce and enjoy!

Let’s share ideas about how any/all the following could be integrated with teaching and learning.

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

26 thoughts on “We the People…”

  1. In my house, Saturday mornings and Schoolhouse Rock were weekly rituals. My siblings and I would wake up as early as possible to catch the first ones. Although I am nowhere near as creative as the good folks from ‘SHR’, I was able to incorporate the use of videos for my 9th grade English students this year. With the help of iMovie and a few musical artists, anyone can make a difference in the classroom!

    Have a look. Again, it’s not good enough for MTV but my students loved Monday-morning Vocab videos … and their grades improved tremendously!!


  2. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Schoolhouse Rock. I remember so many of the videos. My favorite is “Mr. Morton.” “Mr. Morton is the subject of the sentence, and what the predicate says, he does.” They are so catchy! Even ones that don’t rhyme, like the Preamble. This song is the only way I can remember all of it. I think it makes learning something difficult, or something that perhaps the students aren’t enthralled by, more interesting. I love the Bill song too. What a great way to educate children in the legislative process. I think it would be really fun and challenging to have the students pick different topics and see if they can create a song to help teach the concepts to their classmates. They would be incorporating their musical skills with their studies, which provides not only a fun learning environment but also helps them achieve a well-rounded education.

  3. I really enjoyed Schoolhouse Rock as a child who was allowed to watch very little television I always looked forward to Saturdays and these short clips. The changing imagery in the clips, the clever inuendos and creative storytelling is excellent for higher order thinking skills. The combination of song, constant changing images and factual information also make this clip appealing to various types of learners.

  4. My fourth grader had to recite the Preamble this year. Since I learned it by this song, I pulled out the DVD. She had it before the night’s end. My favorite was Conjunction -what’s your function. Many things are easily remembered if you have a song to go with it. The books of the Bible is the same way.

    As far as high order thinking and word processing, the students could compare and contrast how voting has changed from the times that were shown in the video clip to today.

  5. I loved watching these videos in grade school, and I never forgot to words of the Preamble because of this song.

    I really like the idea someone mentioned above of having a class develop a Student Bill of Rights. They would get a better understanding of the Constitution, and it could lead to some really interesting class discussions.

  6. I remember watching School House Rock. I remember what stuck out the most was it was a video and I could remeber things in a song quicker than studying. So the same lies today it can be helpful to visual and audial learners.

  7. I love School House Rock! I remember waiting for these to come on Saturday morinings. Great!!

  8. I don’t remember much School House Rock, about the only thing I can remember is “conjunction junction, what’s your function?” But I think this definitely would have made memorizing the Preamble in 5th grade much easier!

  9. This brings back great memories. Thanks! This makes me realize that older technology should not be ignored.

  10. This video would help integrate technology in the classroom. After watching students could do a multitude of activities.

  11. Man!!! I could actually smell breakfast on a warm Saturday morning watching cartoons! Sweet!

  12. Wow!! Talk about old school. I loved these video’s!!! This really brought me back. Now I’m thinking about the one’s I remember. Like I’m Just a Bill! The school house rock videos are great and really teach a lot!

  13. I love these videos. They help keep the students interested in what you are learning.

  14. I remember watching this in Civics class in 9th grade. I love that it is still around!

  15. I havent seen this in years! I would LOVE for my 5 yr old to watch. Why can’t television shows still be informative like this?! I love Timothy’s idea of bringing the flip book cartoon to life through technology…what a great way to bring creativity and technology together!

  16. I remember being in 7th grade (or so) and having to memorize and recite the Preamble. Our teacher showed this video, with the lyrics of course, amd had us sing along as a way to help us remember the Preamble. In this instance, singing was an effective way of helping us remember specific words. One of my personal favorites is “Conjunction Junction.” I think it would be cool to have students create their own instructional video in groups. Perhaps they could be shown to children in lower grades.

  17. Oh my goodness! I remember my mom making me watch these series. I think the students could start with little paper flip book cartoons and use technology to bring the flip books to life. This would create an opportunity to take the process of making a cartoon from start to finish. For an assessment project, the students could write a summary paper of their experience

  18. I love Schoolhouse Rock!! My favorite was about the Bill on his way to Capitol Hill. I thinkthese videos teach wonderful lessons and they really reach out to children. They are bright, colorful, musical, fun, and not to mention on television so it’s not like learning ina regular classroom. I would love for them to brought back on PBS or other channels which children view frequently. I will definitely use these videos with lessons in the classroom.

  19. By the way, I love Schoolhouse Rock! I remember all of these videos. Many years ago, I actually bought the DVDs and will be so excited to use them in my classroom someday. This is how I learned the Preamble! An alumna from my school is currently producing a version of Schoolhouse Rock in Turkey, where she has lived for 20 years. Neat!

  20. In order to ensure that students are thinking critically & really thinking about the videos, they could be asked to write summaries or reviews of the videos. This would be used in conjunction with the study of the specific topic or lesson.

  21. WOW! This really brought me back! I am 29 and can remember watching these…or maybe some tapes. I don’t know. I do remember watching School House Rock!

  22. I like the idea of having students create their own constitution. Maybe have them help draw up a constitution for the class. Then students could see what all goes into creating such an important document.

  23. My first thought was similar to something that Dean mentioned…have students create their own video about a topic. I was always amazed at the level of creativity my students showed when given a project such as this. They might not remember questions off of a worksheet, but they were certainly “engaged learners” when they were allowed to let their creative juices flow!

  24. Use these videos to engage students in discussing our government and how it operates. Then have the students create their own Constitution and defend their own laws and bill of rights. Students could create a “modern” video or song to explain the process of passing a law or electing a candidate. Heck, have them interview an actual politician to go along with them creating their own process.

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