Start the Year Off RightJanuary is a time of new beginnings. As students take on the New Year, our Goal Setting and Time Management lessons will help kickstart their endeavors. But don’t forget to prepare for potential setbacks with our Self-Compassion, Meditation & Mindfulness, Growth Mindset, and Managing Frustration lessons. Plus, any month is a great time to keep up with current events with the Week in Rap. Make analyzing current events a habit this year!
Martin Luther King Jr. DayHonor Martin Luther King Jr. Day with Flocabulary's Martin Luther King Jr. video and lesson plan. Students will define and explain key words and phrases from King's "I Have a Dream" speech and then write original raps about their own dreams for the world. Continue studying King's famous speech with Flocabulary's civil rights lesson and lesson plan that sends students on a scavenger hunt for figurative language through the speech text.
Paul Revere's RidePaul Revere was born on January 1, 1735. Celebrate Revere’s birthday and learn about his pivotal role in the American Revolution with this cross-curricular lesson plan. Students will watch Flocabulary’s American Revolution lesson and compare and contrast the events described in it with those in a letter written by Revere himself. They’ll also be introduced to primary and secondary sources and discuss the benefits and drawbacks of each.
Learn More Vocabulary this Year!It's been proven that increased vocabulary means increased reading skills. So a new year means a new opportunity to refresh your direct vocabulary instruction. Use our vocabulary lessons for grades K-8 and grades 9-12 to provide vocab enrichment for your class—and don’t forget to have student’s test their knowledge and build a beat with each lesson’s vocab game.
Black History MonthThis year, Flocabulary is welcoming student submissions for our second-ever Black History Month Rap Contest! Learn more about the contest and how to participate here.
From Harriet Tubman to Toni Morrison and Juneteenth to the Civil Rights Movement, observe Black History Month by remembering important people and events in Black history.
- Harriet Tubman
- Booker T. Washington & W.E.B. Du Bois
- George Washington Carver
- Langston Hughes
- The Tuskegee Airmen
- Thurgood Marshall
- Katherine Johnson
- Jackie Robinson
- James Baldwin
- Malcolm X
- Maya Angelou
- Martin Luther King Jr.
- Toni Morrison
- John Lewis
- Marsha P. Johnson
- Civil War
- The Jim Crow Era
- Plessy v. Ferguson
- Harlem Renaissance
- Civil Rights
- Voting Rights Act & Selma March
Presidents’ DayWe celebrate Presidents’ Day every third Monday of February. Learn the history and purpose of this federal holiday with our Presidents’ Day lesson, or perhaps test your knowledge of the office with our 45 Presidents video (an updated 46 Presidents video is coming soon). How many presidents can your class name by memory?
Valentine’s DayIt’s Valentine’s Day! Or is it Valentines Day? How do we answer this question? By using the rules of possessive nouns! Watch Flocabulary’s Possessive Nouns videos learn the rules. Once the confusion is cleared up, learn the history of Valentine’s Day and different ways to show love with our Love & Valentine’s Day video.
Random Acts of Kindness WeekRandom Acts of Kindness Week takes place every February. Practice putting yourself in someone else’s shoes with our Building Empathy video. After that, take a moment to explore the benefits of being kind to yourself with our Self-Compassion video.
The Hundredth Day of SchoolThe hundredth day of school means you’re deep into the school year, but it also means you have 100 data points to analyze! In this math lesson plan, students will review percents and/or fractions using Flocabulary’s Percents and Fractions videos, then use data from the last 100 days to determine what percent or fraction of the year they have spent doing certain tasks.
Daylight Saving TimeMarch marks the beginning of Daylight Saving Time, when we turn our clocks ahead an hour to make better use of the sun's natural light. Use this an opportunity to explore the properties of light with our video and Next Generation Science Standards-aligned lesson plan. Students will follow the steps of the Scientific Method to conduct an investigation that will determine the effects of placing objects of different materials in the path of light. Will the objects block light? Will they let light pass through? Will they reflect it? Students will make predictions, record their data and write a summary of their conclusions.
March Math MadnessBring March Madness into math class with this middle and high school lesson plan. This Common Core-aligned lesson provides an engaging real-world application for statistics: comparing basketball teams. After watching our Mean, Median & Mode video, students will review the steps of statistics. They will collect, analyze and interpret data on two teams set to meet in the NCAA tournament. They’ll organize their data on a poster that includes a dot chart for each team, as well as measures like the mean, median, mode and range of points scored this season. They'll discuss what the data means in a presentation to the class. Extend the learning with a quick review of probability, and have students discuss just how small the odds are of having a perfect bracket!
Women's History Month: Past, Present and FutureIn March, we celebrate Women’s History Month to honor women’s historical and contemporary achievements. Watch our video about the history of women's rights and our recent Week in Rap videos featuring Malala Yousafzai and Maya Angelou. Use our accompanying lesson plan that asks students to draw connections between past and present women’s rights advocates. Students will then research a modern-day figure of their choosing and help document women’s history by writing their own academic rhymes. Continue your study of women’s history with our lesson plan that asks students to research and create skits set during key moments in the fight for women’s rights, from the French Revolution to the Modern Era.
The First Day of SpringNo matter what the groundhog says, March means the first day of spring has arrived. Celebrate spring’s regrowth with our elementary science video about the parts of a plant and our accompanying interdisciplinary lesson plan. Students will learn the name and function of each part of a plant and then use key vocabulary to sketch and write a story from the point of view of a plant or an object in the plant’s habitat.
Pi DayMarch 14th is Pi Day! Why? When that date is written out in its numerical form, 3.14, it is the first 3 digits of a very popular mathematical number: Pi! To celebrate, listen to our Circle song, which teaches how to use pi to calculate circumference and area. Then celebrate further with these Pi Day activities.
Beware the Ides of MarchCaesar was warned to "Beware the Ides of March," which is March 15. Use this day as an opportunity to brush up on your Julius Caesar with our original-language and modern-language Julius Caesar songs.
High-Stakes Testing BeginsDon't be stressed by the tests! As high-stakes testing season begins, help your students prepare with our Test-Taking Vocabulary video, and interdisciplinary lesson plan.
Earth DayCelebrate Earth Day this April 22 with our videos and lesson plans for all grade levels. Our Earth Day video explains the history of the holiday. Use our elementary lesson plan with our science video on reducing, re-using and recycling to help students identify ways they can use the “3 R’s” to improve the environment. Middle and high school students can watch Mother Earth croon in our environmental change video and use our accompanying lesson plan to analyze news articles about the topic from sources like the Week in Rap.
Also for middle and high school students, Earth returns as a rapper in our video about the solar system, “Confessions of a Planet.” Pair the video with our lesson plan where students will research and write their own raps from the perspective of another planet.
National Poetry MonthSpring has inspired poets from Emily Dickinson to E.E. Cummings…to Kanye West. This April, celebrate National Poetry Month with our ELA lesson plan on Types of Poetry. Or have students write rhyming poems and raps using our Writing Academic Rhymes lesson sequence. Introduce students to poetry with our What Is Poetry? unit, sharpen their skills crafting similes and metaphors with our Rhyme & Rhythm video and Figurative Language video, and encourage them to weave figurative language into their rhymes like the greats.
National Financial Literacy MonthTake your students’ financial literacy far beyond “a penny saved is a penny earned” with our collection of financial literacy videos that teaches key skills like budgeting, creating a plan to pay for college and using credit wisely. Each video is complemented by printable activity worksheets that give students hands-on practice applying the skills they learn in a fun and concrete way. Check out our blog post for more ideas about how to incorporate financial literacy into your classroom.
Happy Birthday, Shakespeare!You can celebrate Shakespeare every day or on his birthday, April 23, with our Shakespeare songs and videos. See Shakespeare rap and teach about character in Much Ado About Nothing lesson plan. You can also let students be the bards! In our Rewriting Shakespeare lesson plan, middle and high school students will watch Flocabulary videos on Hamlet’s famous monologue. Then, they’ll create raps that riff on Shakespeare soliloquies themselves.
It's Still Testing SeasonSome teachers review key terms. Others review key terms with our test-taking vocabulary song.
Tax DayCome April 15th, students are certain to hear their parents and teachers grumbling about taxes. Instead of saying, "Don't worry about it until you're older," use this day to help students understand the basics of taxes with our percentages song.
Anniversary of the Letter from Birmingham JailOne of our favorite pieces of writing of all time, Martin Luther King's "Letter from Birmingham Jail," was written on April 16, 1963. Watch our Civil Rights video and figurative language video for background, and then read it with your class. You'll be inspired.
Memorial DayCelebrate Memorial Day and learn the history of the holiday with Flocabulary's Memorial Day video and lesson plan. Students will learn about Memorial Day traditions and symbols and ways to honor fallen soldiers. They'll also complete three short writing prompts, including an original rap about the importance of this federal holiday. You can also use our World War I and World War II videos to remember those who have given their lives for their country.
Review for Final ExamsFinal exam season is upon us! Help your students prepare with our Test-Taking Vocabulary video, and interdisciplinary lesson plan. Students will use Flocabulary videos on any subject they choose to review material for upcoming exams and then practice writing and answering test questions for their peers using the vocab from the Test-Taking video.
"May" as a Helping VerbMay is known for Memorial Day, Space Day, Mother's Day...and now, as the only month that's also a helping verb! Celebrate this take on "may" with Flocabulary's Helping Verbs video and ELA lesson plan about helping verbs. Students will learn to differentiate between main verbs and helping verbs and write sentences using both. They'll also explain how helping verbs change the tense and meaning of sentences.
Asian-Pacific American Heritage MonthThis month, we honor the history, culture and contributions of Americans whose ancestors came from Asia and the Pacific Islands. Students can explore the experience of Chinese immigrants in the mid-1800s with Flocabulary’s Transcontinental Railroad lesson. They can also watch Flocabulary's Japanese Internment lesson to learn about Fred Korematsu, who challenged the unconstitutional internment of Japanese American citizens during World War II.
It's Spring!April showers bring May flowers... and a whole lot of student distraction. Keep your students alert, engaged and educated by playing Word Up mini games, letting students write their own vocab tests, applying the scientific method outside of the classroom and using current events to research climate change .
Photo by annia316, available under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.
Remembering Anne FrankAnne Frank was born in Frankfurt, Germany on June 12, 1929. Honor her bravery and spirit with Flocabulary’s video and cross-curricular lesson plan. Students will learn about Anne’s remarkable life and diary in the video. They’ll work in pairs or small groups to read more about her and answer reading comprehension questions. Finally, they will put themselves in the shoes of the woman who discovered Anne’s diary after her death. Why was the diary so significant? What can you learn about Anne by reading it?
SMART Summer GoalsPrepare your students for a productive summer break with our social and emotional learning video and accompanying lesson plan about setting SMART goals. Students will use the steps from the video to brainstorm and set goals for the summer. They’ll then work with partners to assess their goals and ensure that they’re Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic and Timely. Extensions include creating a sample summer daily schedule that builds in time to work on their goals.
"I Spy" with AdjectivesGet students exercising their ELA skills during the final days of school with our adjectives video and lesson plan that puts a spin on the classic game of “I Spy.” Students will describe objects they “spy” in the classroom with single adjectives, and their partners will earn points based on how many adjectives they need to guess the object.
Math Facts ChallengeWrap up the year with a math challenge using our multiplication and division challenge raps that provide practice multiplying and dividing numbers by 0-10. The videos are set up as games with multiple rounds of math problems and pauses between questions for students to call out the answers. Students can play in teams of two or small groups, and the first team to call out or write down the correct answer can earn a point. The winning team can then pick another Flocab lesson to watch as a class!
Flocab JeopardyKeep the end-of-year competition going by having students help create a Flocabulary Jeopardy game to play as a class, using Flocabulary challenge and quiz questions as the game content. Students can come up with Jeopardy category names—whether academic, like “Ancient World History,” and/or original, like “Songs that Mention Dogs.” Students can then browse the challenge questions and quiz questions from Flocabulary videos to find and compile questions that fit into the categories.
Don't Let the Learning StopDon't want to just send the kids off with some summer reading? Here are 10 summer activities or assignments that will make them want to learn while the school year is out.
Social Media + Learning = Fun End-of-Year ProjectUse Twitter and Facebook (or fake versions!) as an engaging way to wrap up the year. These social media lesson plans span all subjects.
The Last 18 Years in RapAt the end of each school year, we honor the newest crop of grads with The Last 18 Years in Rap. You can find our most recent edition here. And you can use one of these mini lessons to teach it!
ELL Summer AssignmentIdioms can be hard to understand, and especially difficult if English is not your first language. Assign our Idiom song and lesson to your ELL students over the summer, and ask them to keep a log of idioms they encounter. They'll be even more prepared to take on the quirks of the English language next year!
Photo by KitAy, available under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.
Independence DayTake a moment to review why we take July 4th to watch fireworks with our Declaration of Independence song.
Set a Summer Vocabulary Goal...Challenge your students to learn a certain number of new words over the summer. We have full vocabulary curriculum for grades K-12. Students can simply listen to the songs and watch the videos, or complete the accompanying worksheets, too.
...Or Set a Summer Math Fact GoalJust like the vocabulary challenge, set up a summer math facts goal. See who can come back to school knowing the most addition, subtraction, multiplication or division facts.
The Anniversary of the Zip CodeJuly 1st marks the Zip Code's golden birthday. Use this numerical day to have your students review addition, subtraction, multiplication and division for all the numbers in their zip code.
Write a Rap About Summer ReadingMost schools that assign summer reading also assign some form of writing to go along with the book. Why not let your students prove they've read by writing a rap? Students can get inspired by listening to our hip-hop renditions of Huck Finn, The Odyssey and more. Then they can show off their literary knowledge by dropping beats in Lyric Lab!
Summer ShakespeareUse summer to give students a taste of Shakespeare with our Much Ado About Nothing rap.(Shakespeare raps on the hook. You don't want to miss it.) For extension, use this Much Ado About NothingLesson.
Photo by NobbiP, available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
Back to School!For many, August marks the start of the school year. Start the year with a caring community in your classroom, with these culture-building first day of school activities.
Start Off Your History Course with FlocabularyTeaching World History? Many begin in the Fertile Crescent and we'll be there with you. Begin with our Fertile Crescent song, and then use this lesson to actually teach the Fertile Crescent with a croissant. If you're teaching U.S. History, we have this lesson plan that focus on the Age of Exploration, where many of you start your year.
Learn the Five Elements of a StoryIt's hard to get far in Language Arts class without understanding stories. Use our five elements of a story lesson (including Flocab favorite "Five Things") to get ELA students at all levels ready to read.
Celebrate the Anniversary of MLK's "I Have a Dream" SpeechFlocabulary's civil rights lesson features the story of Martin Luther King, Jr., who delivered his famous "I Have a Dream" speech on August 28, 1963. After you've watched the video, use these lesson plans to send students on a scavenger hunt through King's famous I Have a Dream Speech, learn to identify and analyze rhetorical devices in historic speeches and research key events and people from the Civil Rights Movement.
Commemorate Women’s SuffrageWomen were guaranteed the right to vote with the passage of the 19th Amendment, also called the Susan B. Anthony Amendment, on August 18, 1920. After watching our Susan B. Anthony video, students will research other historical figures who had a major impact on women’s suffrage as part of our Women’s Suffrage lesson plan.
The Anniversary of the Voting Rights ActIt's also the anniversary of the Voting Rights Act! Lyndon B. Johnson signed this important act into law on August 6, 1965. Middle and high school students can learn about this key piece of legislation and the groups of dedicated civil rights activist who worked and marched in Selma with our video. With our Voting Rights Lesson Plan, students will look at examples of continuity and change with regard to voting rights in the United States.
Learn the Scientific MethodMany science classes begin with the scientific method. Your students will be singing all the steps with this Scientific Method lesson plan.
Start Direct Vocabulary InstructionIt's been proven that increased vocabulary means increased reading skills. So this school year, refresh your direct vocabulary instruction. Use our vocabulary songs and videos for grades 2-8, plus SAT vocabulary, to provide vocab enrichment for your class. Don't have time for all the songs? Use a few, or play these vocabulary mini games with the vocab you're already using.
Write about Going Back to SchoolThe beginning of the school year is ripe with topics for stories involving new friends, new skills and new responsibilities. Get your students writing about the back-to-school experience with this ELA and vocabulary lesson plan that draws on our Word Up and 5 W’s of a Story videos. Students will identify the “Who,” “What,” “Where,” “When” and “Why” of the story in our vocabulary video, “The New Kid at School.” They’ll then come up with the 5 W’s for original back-to-school narratives and use them as inspiration to write their own stories.
Hispanic Heritage MonthNational Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15-October 15) celebrates the history, culture and contributions of people in America whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. Elementary school students can explore cultural traditions with this Week in Rap Junior, and then compare Día de los Muertos traditions in Mexico and Halloween traditions in the US with the accompanying lesson plan. Middle and high school students can build their vocabulary with this Word Up video on Dolores Huerta. In the accompanying lesson plan, they will read her biography and synthesize key information by writing a rap about her life. To continue celebrating Hispanic heritage, commemorate the life and achievements of labor leader Cesar Chavez. Use our video and cross-curricular lesson plan to teach students about Chavez’s difficult early life, involvement in Latinx community relations and co-founding of the National Farm Workers Association (now the United Farm Workers). In a writing exercise, students will put themselves in the shoes of a farm worker to understand why the farm workers’ movement was needed.
Labor Day & Labor HistoryThis Labor Day, examine the holiday with our video on Labor Day and accompanying lesson plan for elementary school students. Students will read and write about the experiences of American factory workers in the 1830s and connect the learning to the present day by interviewing a family member or friend about their job. To dive into the changing lives of American workers, you can also use our Industrial Revolution and Gilded Age videos and this lesson plan for middle school students. Students will describe notable events and inventions from these eras and analyze how they shaped the lives of American workers. They’ll synthesize their learning by writing a journal entry from the perspective of an American laborer.
Remembering 9/11Each September, we think about the nearly 3,000 people who died in the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. In Flocabulary’s 9/11 video and accompanying cross-curricular lesson plan for middle and high school, students will learn the five Ws of the event: what happened, where and when the attacks occurred, who was responsible, why the terrorists attacked and how the US responded. They will also design their own memorials for the victims of 9/11 and share their reactions and emotions as they learn about this tragic day in American history. For more resources on teaching 9/11 in the classroom, check out this blog post.
Hurricane SeasonSeptember is the peak month of Atlantic hurricane season. Have your class learn more about these coastal storms. Review where, how and why hurricanes form with this elementary science video. Students can then search through the Week in Rap archives and watch our footage and reporting on historic hurricanes like Sandy and Irene. You might even have your class create a weather forecast for a real or fictional storm.
Summer Recap & Week in RapThe news doesn’t stop just because school’s out! Each year, we do a Summer Recap to catch up on the big stories from the summer. Review the summer’s news with your students with this current events lesson plan and have them create their own Summer Recaps using Flocabulary’s. You can find our most recent edition here. When you’re done, make it a Flocab Friday tradition to keep watching the Week in Rap or Week in Rap Junior for K-5 students all year. The Week in Rap uses news stories to teach core subjects like science and social studies, as well as skills like critical thinking and writing.
Banned Books WeekEach year the American Library Association celebrates freedom of speech with Banned Book Week. Read a banned book, like The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and then watch our Huck Finn video after! And for more Banned Books Week ideas, check out our blog post!
Teach Writing RightBegin writing on Day One! Here are five ways that you can use Flocabulary to teach writing, from rhyme-writing to improving transitions.
Remembering the Emancipation ProclamationSeptember 22 marks the anniversary of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. On this day, learn more about Frederick Douglas, Abraham Lincoln and slavery.
Family History MonthOctober is Family History Month, which gives us the chance to learn more about and celebrate our family backgrounds. Use our lesson plan and family-themed vocabulary video, “A Dozen Cousins,” to let students dive into their own family histories. Students will create a family tree with key vocabulary words for the family described in the song. They’ll then identify the kinds of questions a historian uses to gather information and come up with their own questions to ask family members. This lesson can also be used within the class to create a “class history.”
Rhetorical DevicesThe first Democratic Debate provides a great cross-curricular opportunity to address current events, argumentative writing and public speaking in the classroom. In this two-day lesson, students will identify rhetorical devices, analyze famous political speeches and write and deliver a speech about a contemporary issue. Extensions include structuring a classroom debate and researching a candidate’s platform to write a speech from his or her perspective.
Bullying Prevention Awareness MonthOctober is National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month. Use our bullying video to spark a classroom discussion about what bullying is and what to do when it happens. Students can then work together to role-play scenarios and reach resolutions guided by our activity.
Superstition SeasonWhat happens when you see a black cat on Friday the 13th? What if you break a mirror? There are a lot of superstitions, learn about them (and how to prevent seven years of bad luck) with this lesson plan.
Teach Ethics with FrankensteinIf you want to go more in depth during this month of ghosts and monsters, read Frankenstein or listen to our Frankenstein song. Then, teach a lesson about ethics in Frankenstein.
Teach Physics with The Pit and the PendulumThe Halloween fun doesn't have to just be in English class. This lesson uses Edgar Allan Poe's masterpiece, "The Pit and the Pendulum," to review important physics ideas.
Anniversary of the Assembly LineThe assembly line debuted on October 7, 1913, and has since changed the world. Learn about other crucial technological changes with our Industrial Revolution song and lesson plan.
It’s Electric!On October 21, 1879, Thomas Edison unveiled the first practical light bulb. Expand on this brilliant anniversary by reviewing properties of light or the Industrial Revolution.
Women March for the VoteOn October 23, 1915, a group of 25,000 women marched to demand the right to vote. Introduce or revisit suffrage with our women’s rights lesson.
It's Still Not Too Late to Plan the Rest of the School YearBecause we’re always looking for ways to support educators, spice up lessons, and make learning fun, we put together two new planning guides. They’re the first of many and aim to help teachers find new and different ways to use our resources on a regular schedule. Who doesn’t like a little bit of the legwork done for them? See the planning guide for middle school ELA and the planning guide for 5th grade here.
ThanksgivingEvery November, Americans celebrate Thanksgiving. Watch Flocabulary's Thanksgiving video with your class to learn the history of this holiday, and use our Thanksgiving lesson plan to have students compare the first Thanksgiving to ways we celebrate today. They will also get into the spirit of the holiday by writing letters of gratitude.
Veterans DayAt 11am on November 11, we honor the veterans who have served in our armed forces. Use our Veterans Day video and accompanying lesson plan to teach students the origins and significance of this federal holiday. In the lesson, students will write a letter to a veteran to thank him or her for serving the United States. Middle and high school students can also learn more about a veteran's experience with our World War I video, which is told from the perspective of a WWI soldier. And you can use The Week in Rap to learn about where US armed forces are serving now.
Native American Heritage MonthNovember is Native American Heritage Month, which gives middle and high school students a great opportunity to focus on American history from a Native American perspective. Use our lesson plan and video on Indian Removal to examine westward expansion and the ways it threatened Native Americans’ way of life. You can also check out our videos on Mesoamerica and the “discovery” of America to learn more about Native American history. Get elementary students involved with Native American Heritage Month, too. Our Navajo video explores the history and heritage of the Navajo, a Native American tribe based in the American Southwest.
Election SeasonEvery four years in November, Americans choose the next president of the country. Watch The Week in Rap Extra 2016 Presidential Election video with your class, and use our presidential election lesson plan to get students writing and reading about this major political event. You can further engage students in politics with our civics videos and lesson plans and activities on comparing political parties, studying the psychology of campaign ads, understanding polls and watching the election unfold.
Geography Awareness WeekGeography Awareness Week takes place each November, and you can celebrate with all of our geography videos and activities! In November 1520, Ferdinand Magellan also made great contributions to our present-day study of geography by becoming the first to sail from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. Get students excited about geography this month with our lesson plan that integrates map-making, creative writing and vocabulary from our Map Skills, Oceans and Landforms & Bodies of Water videos. Students will create maps tracing Magellan’s route to the Pacific through his eponymous strait and write about Magellan’s journey from his point of view using key vocabulary. They’ll also create maps of a location at school and use each other’s maps to navigate to “landforms or bodies of water” that they name after themselves. Be sure to explore all of our new geography videos and activities that you can use your curriculum this month!
National Novel Writing MonthNovember is National Novel Writing Month, or as some call it, NaNoWriMo. We created a lesson plan to kick off a month of writing with your students.
Photo by Werner100359, available under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.