History Rocks!

January 31st, 2008 by ClickSchooling Leave a reply »

ClickSchooling list member Dora Moreland recommended these websites that explore modern history from 1949 to 1989 through the lyrics of a rock song titled, “We Didn’t Start The Fire,” written by Bill Joel.

According to legend, Billy Joel wrote this song after overhearing a child say that he felt sorry for older people (like Joel) because no significant “history” happened in their lifetime. Joel wrote the song to chronicle historic events that had taken place in his own life.

Recommended Websites:

Age Range: 11-17

Note: Both of these sites link to many other websites, that I did not review. Therefore, as always, parents should preview the sites to determine suitability of content.

Teacheroz.com: We Didn’t Start The Fire

At this site you can watch the “TeacherTube” video that shows images of every historic event mentioned in the song while you listen to Joel’s recording. Directly below the video, you’ll see the lyrics to the song. The lyrics are linked to websites with more information about each event. Most of the links I tried worked. If you find a bad link – just “google” the historic event or person, and you’ll find plenty of information for further study. Oh, and at the bottom of the page, you’ll find links to two more videos that illustrate the song.

SchoolForChampions: We Didn’t Start The Fire

This site suggests a discussion on the “poetry” of the lyrics to the song. You’ll see the lyrics and if you click on each highlighted year such as 1949, 1958, 1963, etc., a new page opens with further description of the people and events mentioned in the song. There is a mini-quiz about the song at the bottom of the landing page.

These sites provide an ingenious way to learn about modern history, social studies, and pop culture – that could easily springboard interest in exploring any given historic event or person mentioned in the song in further detail.


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