By Teachers, For Teachers
Being a scientist-turned-educator and techie, it’s hard to avoid my inner geek. Not only can I not avoid it, but now I've found the soundtrack for my inner geek life: Here Comes Science by They Might Be Giants!
I enjoy a lot of the typical nerd-core genres, like Star Wars, Lego, and Joss Whedon’s TV shows. When it comes to music, I usually listen to mainstream stuff (with some ska and Dave Matthews Band mixed in). Recently, however, my love for the band They Might Be Giants collided with my science-geek nature.
The key to this convergence is my 6-year-old son and 4-year-old daughter. Thanks to them, I watch quite a bit more Disney Channel than I would like. Several months ago, I recognized a couple of the tunes that I heard on Disney Channel as recordings by TMBG, and I was intrigued.
At first it seemed strange that a band that I enjoy so much would be making kids’ music, but upon closer inspection, it made perfect sense. The Giants are well-known in some circles for their quirky lyrics about such things as the capital of Turkey ("Istanbul not Constantinople") and men who explode from viewing statues ("The Statue Got Me High"). Their imaginative and fun songwriting style matches well with the often nonsensical nature of children's music.
And so I found myself in possession of their latest album, "Here Comes Science". Hidden in that little plastic disc, my personal tastes and professional life came into perfect harmony.
They Might Be Giants released the album as an audio CD and a video DVD (also available as audio+video on iTunes), and it is both deeply entertaining and remarkably educational. The videos are animated, sometimes psychedelic, romps through the science themes from each song.
The songs touch on:
The best track on the entire album, however, has to be "Science is Real" with it's catchy tune and important message: "A scientific theory, Isn't just a hunch or guess, It's more like a question, That's been put through a lot of tests."
I plan to use this album (both video and audio) with my students in class because when it comes to the basic learning, like studying new vocabulary or remembering the relationships between terms, a song is worth a thousand lectures.
How do you out-of-school loves find a place in the classroom? Share in the comments section!
Copies of Here Comes Science and more of They Might Be Giant's other kids tunes are available in the TeachHUB Recommendations Store (by Amazon).