Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A way to get students interested in the news

I never thought it would come to this, but I have to give credit where credit is due. A free video site called "The Week in Rap" is up and running. Their billing reads "A week's worth of news, rapped. New every Friday." And they are not kidding. You can subscribe to these video feeds, watch them right on their site, or embed them in a blog (as I am doing here). Most of them are just 2 or 3 minutes long, focus on one or two big serious headlines and a few lighter issues, have good visuals (actual newsfile pictures) with the rap playing over. Unlike other rap, there are no "no-no" words, and it's very understandable.

The Week in Rap is good. It would be a fun way to inject a little current events on a Friday afternoon (or any day). Teachers could review the rap before-hand, give a brief overview of the current event(s) addressed in the rap, or even tie it in with another web/current events tool like Newsmap. Then you could play the rap on an overhead or your Smartboard for your students. Or, it could be used as a quick activity to begin or end class.

There is a print version available of each rap with the click of a button, so students can follow along. It's definitely the kind of news students will listen to.

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