What do you get if you dissect your favourite pop songs?
Sucking in multiple intelligences and spitting out inspiration, Lyrical Science is all about making music videos to help people learn tricky concepts in Science! Open to all students, all you need is a little creativity and a dash of humour.
Come and have a go!
1. Hear a song that makes you think – “Aha! I could improve it with science!” Generally, the link to a science topic is obvious, based on some key phrases of rhymes (I Will Divide)
2. Find the lyrics and paste them line-by-line into an Excel doc
3. List and understand all of the key terms and concepts that you will need to get into the song to make it scientifically sound. There’s no point doing one that is not accurate.
4. Check for misconceptions and address them now. You do not want to be promoting misunderstanding in your work, however well-intentioned.
5. Re-write the lyrics in the next column – try to keep the stanza (flow of syllables) and rhyming structure. This is where I think the real educational value lies – it is not as easy as it looks! Extra awesomeness comes from keeping some of the original lyrics so that they can be interpreted in a new way.
6. Test it out on your mates – does it make sense to them?
7. Record it and make a video. You’re a rock star!
For some much better examples:
– Check out Tom McFadden’s Human Bio Raps.
Copyright Friendly – for music samples, images and more
All Lyrics and ideas so far are on this spreadsheet: Lyrical Science
|Song Idea||Topic||Original Song||Artist|
|I Will Divide||Mitosis||I Will Survive||Gloria Gaynor|
|Don’t Divide Even||Oogenesis||Don’t Break Even||The Script|
|Apoptise||Cell death and tumour suppression||Apologise||One Republic|
|One Gene, One Protein||Protein synthesis/ genetic code||No Woman, No Cry||Bob Marley|
|‘Karyotic ‘Somes||Ribosomes and translation||California Gurls||Katy Perry|
|Good Riddance (to excess end products)||End-product inhibition||Good Riddance||Green Day|
|Ace-Ace Inhibitors||Enzyme inhibition||Ice Ice Baby||Vanilla Ice|
|Hormones||Hormones||I’m Yours||Jason Mraz|
|Fix You||Calvin Cycle||Fix You||Coldplay|
|You’re Beautiful||Mate Selection||You’re Beautiful||James Blunt|
|Girls and Boys||Mate Selection||Girls and Boys||Good Charlotte|
|Gone/Encore||Extinction & Endangered Species||Numb/Encore||JayZ-LP|
|Lose your Lunch||Immune System||Lose Yourself||Eminem|
Any more ideas? Post them in the comments below!
For some more reading on how making use of Musical Intelligence can aid in learning across the curriculum:
- “The Effect of Music on Second Language Vocab Acquisition” from ESL Through Music
- “Promoting Literacy Through Music” from Songs for Teaching (Resources here: Science page)
- “Singing In Science: Writing and Recording Student Lyrics to Express Learning” from the University of California.
- Here is a list of science songs already available, from SongsForTeaching.com
- Here’s Tomcfad demonstrating this technique with an elementary earth science class:
Here are some nice examples from Ross Durand
And MrT absolutely loves this one: