Recreating Pop Hits as Content-Related Lyrics Videos

Never gonna go to war, never gonna drop a bomb
Never gonna shoot a gun and hurt you
Switzerland is never gonna say let’s fight
Never gonna tell a lie, Neutrality

These are not lyrics by Rick Astley.  They’re by me, and they’re really lame.  But . . . .they serve as a pretty good intro to the idea of having students record their own videos/songs of pop hits recreated with content-related lyrics.

If you know me, you know that I love a good “Rick Roll.”  You also know that I love the idea of students proving their mastery of content by creating things rather than by filling in bubbles.

This idea mixes students love of 1) being creative and 2) lyrics videos on YouTube.  Here’s a video (with even worse lyrics), followed by the steps.

  1. Rewrite the lyrics to a song.
  2. Find an instrumental version of that song.
  3. Click on the Screencastify Extension and select Tab mode (Desktop works too, but would show you switching tabs to play the music, if you are using one device).  Microphone on, webcam off (unless you want to show your face).
  4. After starting recording, start playing the instrumental music (on the same computer or a different one – your call).
  5. Now you have options – do you want to sing?  Do you want to show the lyrics to the song? Do you want to do both?  Do you want to sing while there are images related to your content on the screen?  Get creative.  In the video above, I chose to use shift and the arrow key to highlight the lyrics kind of like a karaoke machine.

If you (or your students) try this out – I’d love to see the results!  Tweet at me – @JakeMillerTech.

Note: We’re dealing with some copyright gray area here.  I tend to lean towards allowing things that give the students a chance to be creative and engaged.  My recommendation is to remind them to site their musical source and just keep the video between student-teacher on Google Drive rather than posting it publicly on YouTube.  If you are more cautious about this stuff, I understand and don’t blame you at all.

On that note:

Published by

Jake Miller

Jake is a Google for Education Certified Trainer and is the Lead Technology Integration Specialist for Brady Middle School in Ohio's Orange City Schools. In the past he taught STEM, Science & Math in Stow-Munroe Falls, Ohio, where he was also a leader in the district's Technology Leadership Team and a co-advisor for the middle school's STEM Club. He has been an educator since 2003. His Bachelor's Degree is in middle-level education (math/science) from the University of Akron and his Master's Degree is in Instructional Technology from Kent State University. He has enjoyed providing more than 100 professional development opportunities at conferences and school districts across the state of Ohio. He is very involved in Twitter (@JakeMillerTech) and provides regular pointers for educators with his #GAFETip tweets.