Posted by: markhowell101 | June 20, 2012

Music in geography lessons

Not sure what most school’s policies are on listening to music in lessons but we don’t let students. When I first started we did and it was common to see KS4 groups around the school sat working with headphones in often working very hard in their own little worlds. Certainly many of us know how music can improve focus and enthusiasm and spark creativity in many many case (he says sat writing this whilst listening to the Manic Street Preachers) . This proved problematic as many students took liberties and used their devices for other purposes ‘whilst they had them out’.

It was rare that I let students listen to their headphones during the time they were not banned as I was new to the school and still trying to find my feet so playing things with a pretty straight bat with regards to classroom management. I have since the ban experimented with having the radio on in some select classes whilst students work but found mixed results with this. Many students use it as an opportunity but others would rear their heads between songs to complain about the selection offered by Radio 1 – me included at times. This is therefore something I have not done in a while.

So I wanted to compile a playlist for geography teachers with decent tunes with a geography influence which could be played in class. Sadly despite owning somewhere near 1000 CD’s (15 days worth of music on iTunes) I could find only a handful of songs which would fulfil the above criteria. Also many songs be not actually be used in class due to ‘language’ issues so some of the following are fairly tongue in cheek. Some have lyrics which could act as a starter others could use the video to help. A couple of these are only useful with the video so I have linked to the videos for those tracks. Feel free to contribute to the list….

My one useful and useable track was…

The Enemy – We’ll live and die in these towns (problems of inner city deprivation)

3 good videos I have used are…..

Green Day / U2 – Hurricane Katrina Response

Oasis – The Masterplan – Inner City area

Chemical Brother – Star Guitar (Urban zones and changing urban landscapes)

Thanks to where I originally got those 3

Not so serious, but maybe of use but in some cases a shame that choice language stops them being useable….

A – Old Folks (problems of an ageing population)

Arctic Monkey – When the sun goes down (problems of inner city deprivation)

Chirs T-T – When the huntsman comes a marchin’ (Rural change)

Levellers – Cholera well (Problems of LEDC lack of development)

Levellers – Cardboard box city (Homelessness in MEDC cities)

Maximo Park – The coast is always changing (The fact that processes change the coastline)

Its got the title but not much else….

Manic Street Preachers – Tsunami

Manic Street Preachers – Australia

…and you will know us by the trail of dead…. – Monsoon

Battles – Atlas

Bedouin Soundclash – Immigrant Workforce

Biffy Clyro – Mountains

Bruce Springsteen – The River

The Cooper Temple Clause – The Lake

Frank Turner – Rivers

The Gallows – The Riverbank

The Gallows – The Riverbed

Hundred Reasons – Avalanche

Hundred Reasons – Savanna

Incubus – Mexico

Interpol – NYC

Maximo Park – Limassol

Pearl Jam – Oceans

Kid Harpoon – Riverside

Kings of Leon – Arizona

The Kooks – Seaside

Levellers – Riverflow

Placebo – English summer rain

The Stone Roses – Waterfall

Temper Trap -Down river

The Vines – In the jungle

The Vines – Rainfall

Yeah yeah yeahs – Maps

30 Seconds from mars – Hurricane

I noticed there is almost enough songs about Rivers there to do a hydrological cycle using this list. Maybe a lesson in there somewhere.

As ever anything else to add to the list would be great.


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