Friday, March 12, 2010

Quick History Lesson

I have always said this blog was about learning, and I want to give you a quick history lesson. Many of you are old enough to remember Billy Joel's 1989 song We Didn't Start The Fire. Chances are pretty good you have heard it. If you have never heard the song, it is simply a list of historical events and names from 1949 to 1989. You can read the lyrics by clicking here and see and hear the song by viewing the video.

This page of lyrics comes from a terrific learning website entitled School For Champions. If you are a teacher, you may find many ideas on this site you could use in your classroom. There is something for every teacher! In a matter of minutes, I found several things I will be using. You can go to their home page by clicking here. It is linked in to many cool education websites.

Recently, a friend sent me this YouTube video of the song. The thing I find fascinating about it is how fast the names and images come at you. It is incredible how quickly I had to focus on an image and a name, then move on to the next one, and do it time and time again.

Are we learning anything from getting our information at such a rapid rate? In the new Information Age, is this the best way for all of us to get information? I would like to know what Billy Joel was thinking about the effect his song was going to have on people. I wonder if he saw the song as a teaching tool?

Studies are telling us our attention spans are getting shorter and shorter all the time. Is a history lesson like this song helping to shorten our attention spans?

I look forward to your comments.




Rick said...

I think for the generation that he wrote the song for, the imagery is so powerful -- he captures a generation or more of turmoil and we can soak it all in. For us it is a road trip down memory lane without speed bumps -- for most others maybe a rest stop or two along the whir of the highway.

Anonymous said...

We listened to that in 7th grade history.

I'm Not Done Yet said...

Did you discuss all the names and events? And more importantly, did you learn anything from it?

Anonymous said...

We did. We all got a copy of the lyrics and went through and talked about the events.

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