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History for Music Lovers: Brilliance

What it is: Thanks to a tip from Jan, an iLearn Technology reader, I learned about the History for Music Lover’s YouTube channel yesterday.  Oh. My. Goodness. Instant love. Seriously, if I had learned history this way, I would have rocked it!  As it turns out, I actually met @amyburvall, the genius history teacher behind History for Music Lover’s at ISTE 10 in Denver and didn’t make the connection (feeling like a jerk for not figuring that out!).  I starred in a video with one of the stars of the MansaMusa video “Magnus” the fashion police guy at ISTE.  Small world.  You MUST check out this YouTube channel, even if YouTube is blocked in your building. (As a side note…someone remind me WHY we block students from learning opportunities??) History for Music Lovers is a collection of music videos (high quality I tell ya!) centered around events and people in history set to popular songs.  Amy Burvall, IB high school history teacher, is the creator and star of the videos.  Coolest history teacher ever. My high school history teacher sang one song to us: I’ve Been Working on the Railroad. True story.  It was not engaging, inspiring, or helpful in my learning of history. On the History for Music Lovers YouTube channel you’ll find: MansaMusa done to “I’ll Tumble 4 Ya” by Culture Club Napoleon done to “Gone Daddy Gone” by the Violent Femmes Illuminated Manuscripts done to “Nowhere Man” by the Beatles The Spanish Inquisition done to “(Keep Feeling) Fascination” by the Human League Leonardo da Vinci done to “Dear Prudence” as performed by Siouxsie and the Banshees Empress Theodora done to “Norwegian Wood” by the Beatles The French Revolution done to “Bad Romance” by Lady Gaga The Crusaders done to “Eyes without a Face” by Billy Idol I’m a Knight done to “Friday Night” by Lily Allen King Arthur done to “Nature Boy” by Eden Ahbez Elanor of Aquitaine done to “Happy Ever After” by Julia Forham Black Death done to “Hollaback Girl” by Gwen Stefani Anne Boleyn done to “Girl” by the Beatles The Divine Comedy done to “Rapture” by Blondie The Olmecs done to “September Gurls” by the Bangles Renaissance Man done to “Blister in the Sun” by the Violent Femmes The Odyssey done to “Across the Universe” by the Beatles Gladiator done to “You Know I’m No Good” by Amy Winehouse Shakespeare done to “Shayla” by Blondie Julius Caesar done to “Besame Mucho” by the Beatles Ancient Minoan Civilization done to “Creep” by Raidohead Attila the Hun done to “here Comes the Rain Again” by Eurythmics Greek Philosophers done to “Can’t Get You Out of My Head” by Kylie Minogue Constantine done to “Come On, Eileen” by Dexy’s Midnight Runners Battle of Agincourt done to “As Tears Go By” by Marianne Faithful Guttenberg done to “Sunday Girl” by Blondie Viva Roma No. V done to “Mambo #5” by Lou Bega Mummification done to “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)” by Green Day Elizabeth 1 done to  “She’s Not There” by the Zombies Mary, Queen of Scots done to “Jenny from the Block”by Jennifer Lopez Macedonia done to “My Sharona” by the Knack Cleopatra done to “Fergilicious” by Fergie Charlemagne done to “Call Me” by Blondie Nefertiti done to “Kiss Them For Me” by Siouxsie and the Banshees Pompeii done to “Bang Bang (My Lover Shot Me Down” by Nancy Sinatra The Vikings done to “Personal Jesus” by Depeche Mode Martin Luther done to “Manic Monday” by the Bangles King Tut done to “Walking on the Sun” by Smash Mouth Henry VIII done to “Money, Money, Money” by ABBA William the Conqueror done to “Sexyback” by Justin Timberlake Joan of Arc done to “Seven Nation Army” by the White Stripes Thomas Aquainas done to “Venus” by Bananarama Iceman done to “Taxman” by the Beatles Hannibal done to “Sixteen Tons” by Anna Domino Civilization done to “Harajuku Girls” by Gwen Stefani The Canterbury Tales done to “California Dreamin” by the Mamas and the Papas The Borgias done to “I Know What Boys Like” by the Waitresses Beowoulf done to “99 Luftballoons” by Nena Chinese Dynasties done to “Vogue” by Madonna Prehistoric done to “Toxic” by Britney Spears Copernicus done to “Because” by the Beatles I think it is awesome that the 80’s is so well represented in this list  that Amy Burvall is one talented girl! How to integrate History for Music Lovers into the classroom: This is my new favorite way to introduce a history topic.  If this doesn’t grab student attention and leave them wanting to learn more, I don’t know what will.  The collection of videos is a fantastic place to start learning.  The lyrics give students just enough information that when they begin fleshing out the period or figure in history with additional reading or research they will have a solid base to build from.  The lyrics are catchy, students will forever associate William the Conqueror with Sexyback. Students can embed these videos in their own history Web 2.0 creations and presentations.  I’m currently using Capzles with a group of 8th graders and imagine them embedding these videos in their timelines along with images, and their blogged reflections. Are your students as inspired by music as Ms. Burvall is? Encourage students to tackle a figure or historical time that hasn’t been done yet and create their own historical song parody. Tips: For those of you who don’t have access to YouTube in your building (again I have to ask why?) you can still use these awesome videos in your classrooms with a little bit of pre-planning.  Download and save YouTube videos so that you can show them at school without accessing the YouTube site. Use KeepVid, YouTube DownloaderHD, Kick YouTube, SaveVid, or Zamzar.  Some of these tools will even let you download at school if you know the YouTube url.  The downloaded video should have no trouble playing at school! Follow History For Music Lovers, historyteacherz on Facebook and Twitter. Also, did you know you can become a fan of iLearn Technology on Facebook? It’s true! I don’t have a fancy dancy Twitter account especially for iLearn Tech but feel free to follow me on Twitter. I like talking education, technology, and am in general a geek ** This is the LONGEST it has ever taken me to write a blog post, I got sucked right in and watched each and every video.  On the bright side my knowledge of history has increased substantially today. Please leave a comment and share how you are using History for Music Lovers videos in your classroom!

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Museum Box

Posted by admin | Posted in Geography, History, inspiration, Language Arts, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Social Studies, Teacher Resources, Virtual Field Trips, Web2.0, Websites | Posted on 06-01-2009

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What it is:    Museum Box is a website that I heard about through a tweet on Twitter a few weeks ago that is really impressing me today (that is saying a lot since today is MacWorld and they are announcing big things!).  Museum Box is based on the work of Thomas Clarkson who collected items in a box to help him in his argument for the abolition of slavery.  He collected items in a box to demonstrate to others the fine craftsmanship and abilities of the African culture.  He used his box as a sort of travelling museum to aid him in his debate.  The Museum Box website provides a place for students to collect information and arguments in a virtual museum box of their own.  They can collect items to provide a description or add to an argument of a historical event, place, or time period.  Students can add images, text, sounds, video, external links, etc. to each compartment of the box helping them form their own virtual museum.  The Museum Box can be shared as a presentation, saved, or printed.  After a box has been created, students can view one anothers boxes and leave comments about the box.  You really have to check this one out!  So neat for history and literature classes!


How to integrate Museum Box into the classroom:  Use Museum Box as a medium for students to learn about and collect information about a historical event, person, or time period.  Because students can upload their own content to Museum Box, you might also have them create a box all about them.  This would be a great way for students to get to know each other at the beginning of the year.  Museum box is a neat way to share information about geography, students can make a box all about a place including items in their box that are unique to that place.  The ability to incorporate text, sounds, images, video, and uploaded items makes Museum Box especially impressive!  After students have created boxes, spend time viewing other’s boxes and leaving comments about the box.  This is kind of like a science fair atmosphere for history, geography, and literature.   Yet another tool I wish I had in school!


Tips:  Introduce Museum Box to your students by learning about Thomas Clarkson, he is a very interesting historical figure that I had never heard of!


Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Museum Box in your classroom.

Comments (1)

Hi Kelly,
Just wanted you to know that I recommended this website to a few teachers after seeing it here and they flipped over it! One is going to use it immediately as the wrap-up activity for a WWI project her class is just finishing and several others are collaborating on a unit about a BC gold rush town called Barkerville. In addition, another teacher just finished a unit on Underground to Canada and another just finished up a wiki on To Kill a Mockingbird, so Clarkson’s story and box will make a nice addition to their units. Thanks so much for posting these excellent resources. You might not always hear from us, but I assure you we’re very appreciative of all your great, practical ideas.

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