Geography Songs

Music/songs with accompanying lesson ideas for use in the secondary geography classroom. Please forward any ideas to

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Music link

Here's a good list for possible songs to use:

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Jack Johnson - reduce, reuse, recycle.

A contribution:
Used this with year 9 - Resources. Played the track as a starter. Printed the lyrics and had them singing along as part of a plenary.
Jack Johnson - The 3 R's - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle from "Curious George" CD/film soundtrack

A song brainstorm

Why not start a new topic by asking pupils to list as many songs as they can that have something to do with - whatever the topic is. A good way of getting new ideas for other classes!

Dust and Soils

Woody Guthrie - who? Apparantly a large number of his songs were about the mid-west in the 1930s, including several about the the Great Dust Bowl. "The one most people know is 'So long, it's been good to know you', leaving the central plains because of soil erosion, but the classic has to be 'Dust pneumonie', a song that makes Leonard Cohen seem cheerful. His 'Dust Bowl Blues' is about as straightforward a message as one can give. Anything to make soils a bit more interesting!" (from a contributor)

Johnny Cash, flooding & USA

There is a DVD called 'Johnny Cash, The Man in Black - His Early Years' with film footage of him singing 'Five feet high and rising', also a reference to Mississippi flooding that would probably date back to the 1930s.

Cash is good for a few others that paint interesting portraits of the USA, especially of the industrial cities.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Led Zeppelin - When the Levee breaks

Another idea sent in...
"When the Levee Breaks' - Led Zeppelin. I used this song with a year 8 class. Had just shown them some slides of New Orleans after Hurricane Rita and got a discussion going over what actually caused the city to flood e.g. the levee breaking. Transferred this idea to rivers as a link between river features such as the flood plain and flooding. Played them the song with a lyric sheet to follow and then they had a series of questions to answer, analysing the lyrics: what the song tells us about the power of river/why it is important to study rivers. One of my best lessons, they loved it, and learnt a lot."
(Email me for lyrics)

PIL - Don't Ask Me

Another idea sent in...
"PIL 'Don't Ask Me' which is all about environmental issues and our responsibility to save it. good starting point, but a bit wide ranging to have as a main focus!"
(Email me for lyrics)

Specials - Too Much too young

This idea was sent in...
"I use The Specials "Too much too young" as part of a less on on population growth. You need to explain some of the terminology, but I've got a lyric sheet and a series of discussion points to get the students talking about the issues. It has always been a very successful activity."
(Email me for lyris)

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Sound Effects

Great sound-effects for topics ranging from cities to weather on:
There are some free and some you have to pay for.

Another sound-effects site:

Good nature sounds:

The use of sound to develop an understanding of environments

I've just found this excellent document from a presentation at the GA conference 2006 by Fred Martin, PGCE tutor at Bath Spa University.

Excellent Audio Search Engine - Singingfish

I've found to be an excellent search engine for audio material

Hurricane Songs

Instant music from -

Further links from web-forums

There are lots of good ideas for songs on the Geography Forum:

TES Staffroom:

Also on the Staffordshire Learning Net: (pop songs) (background music) (volcanoes) (coasts) (economic activity) (farming) (rivers)

Bob the Builder

Song: Bob the Builder
Topic: Settlement Year 7 - new houses.
How used: Played Bob the Builder theme tune. Then discussed building of new homes on greenfield and brownfield sites. Pupils were put into four groups (1=pro-greenfield, 2=pro-brownfield, 3=anti-greenfield, 4=anti-brownfield). They were then given an adapted Chorus (see below) and had to come up with new verses.

Bob the Builder
Should we build it?
Bob the Builder
Yes we should!
Bob the Builder
Should we build it?
Bob the Builder
No we shouldn't!

Resources: Downolad song from -

Links to song related sites

This site has lots of additional ideas for songs - it's fairly US focussed but might provide some inspiration!

Here's another which is good for science-related topics (weather, environment). You can download the songs directly from the website - they aren't famous songs but have good content.

Other geography 'audio' ideas on:

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Cold Play

Song: Cold Play - any song
Topic: Development/Trade
How used: Had it on at the beginning of a year 8 lesson on development. Asked them what Cold Play had to do with development/trade to bring out Chris Martin's involvement with 'Make Trade Fair'.
Resources: CD

Earth Song

Song: Earth Song, Michael Jackson
Topic: Ecosystems
How used: Played to year 8 as a starter to get them thinking about ways in which humans are damaging ecoystems/the planet.
Resources: I downloaded this from Tesco website for 79p


Song: America (West Side Story)
Topic: Settlement/migration
How used: Played song to class and gave them a copy of lyrics. Firstly they had to identify 'Push' (from Puerto Rico) and 'Pull' Factors (to US). They then had to look at the idea of the 'American Dream' and whether migrants felt America met their dreams/expectations.
Resources: Lyrics on:
Evaluation: I did this with a Year 9 class. It definitely captured interest. Some of the lyrics were difficult for some pupils to understand. Some got confused with what was describing Amercia and what was describing Puerto Rico.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Call for songs that can be used in geography!

I've been inspired on a number of occassions by the powerful use of music as a teaching and learning tool in geography. I'd like to pool together a list of music that geography teachers have used in lessons and how they've used them. Please forward details of any songs you've used together with lesson ideas to