As you know, I’ve been using murder, mystery and crime as my theme for my summer English camp. So far it has been a lot of fun, and I think the students had a good time and learned something as well. At least I hope so.
One of the things I wanted to do was have some music as part of my class. My justification was that music is a fun and interesting way to learn vocabulary in use. The real reason, is it is summer, and the students should be out having fun. Instead they are in a classroom. I think the reason there are so many private academies and after school programs, and summer and winter camps, is that they want to make sure the kids don’t have enough free time or energy to get into any trouble. That is my theory.
So anyway, the students are not at the beach, not at the park, not getting in trouble, not just hanging out in the heat. They are in my class. To make life a bit more bearable, I’ve been playing mystery themed games, been murdered more times than is healthy, and introduced some good music. I could have stuck with pop songs, but a) I wanted the mystery theme to extend even to the music section, and b) I wanted to introduce my students to some music they may not have heard before.
I’ve done songs from the musical Chicago, the theme from the Sopranos TV show, and some blues and country music. I also went into the past and found Elvis Presley’s Jail House Rock. I thought it would be kind of fun, but I didn’t expect the reaction I got.
Lots of High School girls bopping along, their feet tapping, they were smiling and laughing. When I looked at them, they got all serious, paying attention to the lyrics, but out of the corner of my eye, I could see them starting to re-bop and they just couldn’t keep their feet still. It made me happy. Some of my “experiments” don’t always work. I’ve had some serious class room fail. But it is alway nice when it does work well.
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