Science - Sing a song of study

16th March 2012 at 00:00

What the lesson is about

If ever you find yourself struggling to interest a group of pupils in a difficult or dull subject, help is at hand. Take inspiration from The X Factor and download a piece of free software from Microsoft, Songsmith, which gives them the chance to record their own pop songs, writes Dan Roberts.

Recently, I was having a difficult time getting my biology pupils interested in learning about the respiratory system. I showed them Songsmith and within an hour they had formed their own pop groups and written, produced and performed a song all about the subject.

Writing the lyrics helps learning and understanding, and it is an additional bonus that pupils create their own copyright-free piece of music that can be used again in a themed homework task. Even better, most pupils copy the songs onto their iPods, so that they can use them for revision.

The pupils were totally engaged when using the software, and I was surprised that it was the boys who enjoyed it most. They loved using it and it helped them to remember the key concepts of what they were learning.

So next time you are stuck planning your lessons on a particular topic, get your pupils to have a look at Songsmith. It is likely to spark their interest and they will probably work a lot harder in any difficult-to- teach topic.

What else?

You can download the software for free by signing up to Microsoft's Partners in Learning Network. Join four million teachers from 107 countries in downloading free resources and start collaborating together.

For some interactive biology, get mechanical with PhET's Gene Machine simulation. Turn chromosome conundrums into cartoon creations with a Year 9 (S2) lesson from clund.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now