Updated June 2014

Flocabulary: The Week in Rap

These timely rhymes help jazz up your current-events lessons

Subjects & skills
  • Communication & Collaboration
  • Critical Thinking

  • English Language Arts
  • Social Studies
Grades This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
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Flocabulary's Week in Rap offering combines ELA skills with social studies content with new lessons posted at the end of each week. Like the site's ELA and social studies units, the Week in Rap lessons feature a video, printable lyrics, a fill-in-the-blank comprehension exercise, challenge questions, and extension activities.

Lessons encourage a "grab and go" approach, which is an obvious fit for students in grades 5-7, but the videos are so engaging that all students -- especially those in grade 8 and above -- will crave even more authentic extensions. The songs could be a great setup for a debate and discussion activity -- you could assign groups a topic from the video that they agree with, or purposely assign an opposing point of view. You could also have students conduct small-group research, in which groups locate related events from history and present to the class. For the ultimate comprehension check, have students write and present their own raps to review the week. Fear not! The site offers tips and strategies for writing academic rhymes and freestyle rapping.

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Teacher Reviews

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Featured review by
Amy K. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Cornell Senior High School
Coraopolis, PA
Great way to get a weekly dose of current events. The kids love it!

I love this product. Each week Flocabulary puts out a 2 minute rap that includes 6-8 major current events happenings from the week. In addition to 1-2 pieces of world and national news, Flocab generally includes a sports or entertainment event, a science or tech event, and a lot of times something positive that teens are doing (science fairs, the boy who got admitted to all 8 Ivy League schools, etc.)

Teachers who only know "The Week In Rap" from Channel One are missing out. If you subscribe to flocabulary.com you get the 2 minute rap, which is great, but admittedly superficial. The subscription is beneficial, though, because you also get the lyrics. Each of the events have a clickable link that takes you to a 1-2 paragraph description of what the lyric was talking about along with a picture. If you want even more information, you can click at the bottom of that screen and it will take you to a national news story for that event, generally from the AP (i.e. they try not to lean left or right w/ their sources). There's also a quiz and a weekly shout-out contest.

The kids love it. I admit that some of them might like the beats more than the lyrics, but they do like the discussion. I have HS students, but the librarian uses this with her middle school students as well. Sometimes we just listen and talk about a few of the events, and other times our whole Fridays are consumed with great discussions.

I highly recommend!

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