Reviewer: Pepper Moore
Recommendation: Recommend with Reservation
EducationalRap.com promotes itself as “a smarter, cooler Schoolhouse Rock.” Under the about tab on the web site, you can find information about the company Rhythm, Rhyme, Results, or Triple R. Under research, the company sites an article in the Early Childhood Education Journal that says music supports vocabulary and pronunciation in ESL learners. The site's main headings include Teachers and Schools, Students, Parents, Businesses, and Non-Profits. The subheadings are Music, Unlimited Access, Awards, and Blogs. It offers rap songs for topics like grammar, science, and English Language Arts. Songs are up-tempo modern rap songs that teach listeners about topics such as punctuation, figurative language, and parts of speech. The site allows you to play song samples and purchase or download full CDs by subject. There is also the option to pay for monthly access to the site by single subject, full library, or school monthly access. The packages include support materials for learning, like fill in the blank worksheets and crossword puzzles. The company is still active and received a Parents Choice Award in 2009 for its Science CDs.
I definitely plan on using some of the materials offered from EducationalRap in my classroom. Music can be an excellent teaching tool. What concerns me is the tempo of the music. They do include four different versions of the songs, each slower than the last to aid students in learning the songs. However, I would still be cautious about using these materials with students below the intermediate level. With a certain demographic selection, this music is a great resource. I would recommend it to teachers who are looking to incorporate contemporary music into their ESL classes.
Subject Headings: music, activities, grammar, mnemonic devices, rhythm, rhyme