Everybody clap your hands…clap, clap, clap, clap. Have you ever tried a lyric to get your students’ attention? Developing rules and routines is one thing. Finding ways to implement them is a whole different ball game. Many teachers struggle finding creative ways to keep students from being squirrely. What’s a teacher to do?

Use lyrics! Not just any lyrics—famous, fun, and familiar lyrics! Then, before you know it, you’ll all be “Walking on Sunshine, Whoa!” And who doesn’t want to walk on sunshine? 

There are several ways to do this. Sometimes you can straight out use lines from famous songs.  For example, when a student hands in a paper and forgets her name, why not sing this? Don’t you… forget about me… don’t don’t don’t don’t… Previously, the student would have perceived your monotonous reminder as nagging. Now, that same student will smile and happily comply because you’ll be speaking her language!

Other times, you can morph lyrics from a familiar tune and make them your own. Here, one teacher used Gloria Estefan’s “1, 2, 3” to help with clean up.  

1-2-3-4 come on baby say you’ll clean up
      5-6-7 times
8-9-10-11 I’m just gonna keep on counting
      Til-you-clean the grime!

Just imagine the possibilities!

Further, how fun would it be to break students into small groups and have them come up with famous lyrics to use for things like lining up, handing in papers, keeping noise down, walking in the halls, etc.? You can even run a class contest for student-created morphed lyrics to help with a particular management issue. Talk about ownership and buy in!

Below, please enjoy several famous, fun, and familiar lyrics that can help with classroom management. They are divided into various categories, but you can certainly adapt or morph them to meet your own needs. Soon, we will provide additional blogs on using lyrics for friendship and conflict management. Feel free to connect with us to share your own successful uses of lyrics for classroom management!

I hope you enjoyed this post. Click to download these song lists from this blog.

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