Common Sense Review
Updated May 2014

Flocabulary: Science

Hip-hop beats make heads bop, but science content might not
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This module is part of the Website Flocabulary.
Common Sense Rating 3
Teacher Rating (1 Teacher Review) 4
  • Flocabulary offers options for major science content – most are songs; a few are videos.
  • A few standouts, like the video on atoms and elements, match manageable content with memorable beats.
  • Lyrics under the song playbar or video allow users to read along and click on links.
  • Hyperlinked information can pop up during songs, but content here can be questionable, and the lack of titles is frustrating.
  • Challenge Questions are like online flash cards, but not all of the content is worthy.
Christie Thomas
Common Sense Reviewer
Classroom teacher
Common Sense Rating 3
How Can Teachers Use It?

Flocabulary's Science videos can be used to introduce or review science content, though teachers should probably preview songs for accuracy and standards alignment. The songs that are more limited in  scope seem to be the most fun and valuable. Mnemonics in the "Classification" song will have kids laughing while remembering the content. The "Evolution" song manages to properly address common misconceptions, and the "Ecosystems" beat covers just the right vocabulary for middle schoolers. Chemistry students will appreciate the “We Get Atomic” video, and the "Scientific Method" clip is quite worth viewing. Be aware though, that content mistakes in some of the lyrics and supporting texts could throw some teachers out of the groove.

As students listen, have them apply their knowledge by critiquing songs' lyrics or suggesting revisions –- better yet, students will love creating their own songs. Get connected with a video-production class and your kids will jump at the chance to offer up their own fresh beats. You can also use songs during class transitions, or as background music during a lab. Or, classes could earn song minutes through homework completion or keeping glassware unbroken. Overall, given the site's cost, some science teachers might opt for a “They Might Be Giants” album instead, but Flocabulary's versatility makes the site a solid choice for engaging students.

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