How I Use It
As a high school history teacher I have used Flocabulary in a variety of ways. Flocabulary is a very teacher friendly website with a wealth of short videos that teach historical topics and current events through upbeat songs along with awesome graphics. It is very easy to sign up for Flocabulary by going to their website and entering your email address to create a username. Flocabulary has a free trial, but I paid $67 for a year subscription because my students enjoy the videos so much.
I have used Flocabulary’s social studies videos to complement my unit plans in my United States government and United States history courses. You can easily find a video related to the chapter your students are studying. I have used Flocabulary videos as previews for units. Having students watch these videos before we start the unit gets them excited about learning. It is a great hook and really captures their attention. I have also used these videos as review, where students watch the video after learning about the topic and they complete the interactive lyrics worksheets which Flocabulary has on their website. Students really enjoy watching the video after they have a wealth of knowledge about the topic. Using Flocabulary videos at the end of a unit serves as a great reinforcement tool for students and helps them remember the material better. For example, I have had former students come back to my classroom and say what their favorite Flocabulary video was or even sing some of the lyrics.
I also use Flocabulary’s the “Week in Rap” on many Fridays. This is a great way to get students thinking about current events and realizing that being aware of what is happening in the world is “cool”. In my social studies classes, students are required to submit a current event assignment every other week. Many students do not like reading the news so by showing students the “Week in Rap” they actually realize how important it is to be aware of what is happening in the world. Even if I only have ten minutes at the end of class on a Friday, I will show students the “Week in Rap” and we will have a brief discussion or debate on a topic that was brought up in the video.
Overall, Flocabulary is a great teaching tool that is easy to use, and is highly engaging for students. Flocabulary enhances social studies lessons through their informative and witty lyrics along with eye-catching graphics.
Flocabulary serves students and teachers by getting students excited about learning history. After exposing students to Flocabulary, you can have students create their own songs about a particular topic. My students get really excited about creating their own songs, or rewriting the lyrics to a popular song and using their iPads to create eye-catching music videos of them singing it. Flocabulary serves as a great example of how learning history can be fun and as a model for these music video projects. Flocabulary also provides resources on how to write informative and engaging lyrics. Last week, in my United States history class students were learning about the Progressive Era, and I had a student ask me, “Mrs. McIntyre, is there a Flocabulary video we can watch on this, because I love those!” This was a junior in high school and displays the excitement that Flocabulary can create in the classroom.
My students and I love Flocabulary’s, “Week in Rap” videos. These videos, serve as great conversation starters for lively discussions and debates on current events. I think my students genuinely look forward to watching the “Week in Rap” because of the quick and informative summaries the video gives of many important events that happened throughout the week all around the world.
My only criticism of Flocabulary for the social studies classroom is that they would have more videos on specific topics in history and that Flocabulary provide more detailed lesson plans, discussion questions, and extension activities to accompany each video.