School's Starting and Flocabulary Can Help

by Rachel Baker on August 14, 2011

Happy Sunday!

This week, I’m going to introduce you to something INCREDIBLY cool – especially if you have school-age children. Since school is starting in the next few weeks all over the country, I thought the video and the introduction to the company was appropriate.

One of the on-going philosophies at the music store I’m working in is its our job to help music educators nurture the love of music in children. There have been a great many studies done that discuss the benefits of teaching children about music. I love this philosophy and wouldn’t change it for anything. In fact, I think its probably one of the most important roles we can play in the community.

Yesterday, when I was looking for something to write about today, I ran across a video from a company called Flocabulary.

From the Flocabulary website:

Flocabulary is a small educational publishing company with a strong commitment to making a positive social impact. Since 2005, Flocabulary has been creating original hip-hop music and standards-based curricular materials to teach academic content for grades 3-12. Flocabulary programs are proven to increase student motivation and achievement and are currently being used in over 10,000 schools nationwide.


The idea for Flocabulary first came to founder/lyricist Blake Harrison in high school. A good student who still struggled to memorize facts for tests, he wondered why it was so easy to remember lines to his favorite rap songs but so difficult to memorize academic information. Blake realized that if a rapper released an album that defined SAT vocabulary words, students would have a fun and effective way to prepare for the SAT.


The video below is called “Five Things (Elements of a Short Story)” and its catchy. I played in the music store and people were singing the chorus for about an hour. Now, this is rap, but its effective and educational rap. And, its worth listening to, even if you don’t like rap.

Flocabulary – Five Things (Elements of a Short Story)

And just to give you something else interesting, here’s the link to a video and rap of The Pit and the Pendulum by Edgar Allan Poe.

Not only do they do reading and writing raps, but there are videos and raps for Social Studies and Math and Science as well. Also, there’s another cool site from Flocabulary called “The Week in Rap” which is basically the news from one week done in a rap format.

Here’s “The Last 18 years in Rap (1993-2011)” – I think this is a very innovated way to remind the Class of 2011 of all the things that have happened in their lifetimes.

The Last 18 Years in Rap 1993-2011 from Flocabulary on Vimeo.

Next week, I’ll go back to my original idea of introducing you to songs that are actually short stories; but for now, enjoy a bit of the work Flocabulary has done to help our children be more successful at school.

Have a great week!

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