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Brilliant Schoolhouse Rock & Schoolhouse Rock Parodies

Here are some schoolhouse rock music videos. These were short educational songs that they showed on American TV in the 1970s. Most person over the age of 30 knows almost all of these songs by heart. These are great songs, and they reveal a lot about the style from the 1970s. There are countless examples, but my faves are InterjectionsConjunction Junction, A Noun is a person, place or thing, Verbs, Multiplication Rock: I got Six (I just loved the fact they made a song about a number!), Three is a Magic Number, Figure Eight, The Preamble.

I showed a few vids to my nephew, and he loved them (although Youtube was acting flaky, so he didn’t watch a lot).  I just love how the songs introduce grammar concepts that are intermediate but the song but doesn’t teach down to people. A few  observations:

  • I just love how the girl jumps into the frame in A Noun is a person place or thing. Immediately we grasp that there are two realities, the reality of the song and the reality of the example. Anybody instantly gets it.
  • Conjunction Junction is actually a very intricate song and that runon sentence that the song ends with is both whimsical and illustrative of how conjunctions lets you extend sentences endlessly. And what a great metaphor!
  • Frequently the song is singing at several different levels: to the youngest learner, to the smart middle schooler and to the adult.
  • Preamble is a good anthem kind of song, giving significance to a paragraph which would normally bore people. Bravo for tackling that subject!
  • Verbs and I got Six have a dated quality, conveying the new enthusiasm for ethnic identities and empowerment.
  • I love musical videos that incorporate text and fonts, giving reinforcement in several mediums.

Now here’s the great news. Schoolhouse Rock has put out an ecology/climate change series of songs called Earth Rock this year. See You oughta be saving water, Trash Can Band, Don’t be a carbon sasquatch! , Save the Ocean (complete), the Rainforest, Little Things we Do (I love this!)

Apparently Mad TV did some brilliant Schoolhouse Rock parodies: Dysfunction junction, Nouns, Fatty, Fatty get your junk food here and Substitute Teacher math. Their level of parody rises to the level of brilliance of the original videos.

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