It has been a pleasure to welcome a new colleagues into the Geography Department this school year. They introduced a new and exciting geography curriculum across all years in the Secondary School, with students (and teachers – like me) having the opportunity to investigate and discuss topical issues in much more meaningful and creative ways.
When I trained as a geography teacher, way back in the last century, I thought I was ahead of the game challenging students to produce story boards about natural disasters, and using drama and role play to explore the destruction of our rainforests, etc. Fast forward to this academic year and by Christmas I have been assessing the student´s knowledge and understanding of our oceans by producing their own podcasts, and this week I have been amazed by their musical ability and confidence to write and perform rap songs about the urban decline of Detroit city in the US.
I am a big fan of cross-curricular learning, and fully believe that enabling the involvement of skills and passions from other academic subjects, and a student´s personal interests, in your own lessons maximising the learning potential for all students in a classroom learning environment.
I would love to claim the idea of reinforcing the concepts of urban decline and deprivation with the use of a rap based on a soundtrack from Detroit´s very own Eminem, but I can´t, and must thank my colleague and the rest of the geography team for their approach and willingness to collaborate in such creative ways. It is refreshing to be able to improve my own teaching styles and ideas by learning from and observing others. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to my students perform their raps in class this week and have included an example of some lyrics on this page.
I hope you enjoy yo!