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Hip-Hop in the Science Classroom (not just for science

Screenshot 2018-03-07 at 11.36.39 AM

A creative and relevant approach to Project Based Learning in the classroom through Hip hop culture. Students build an inclusive community, make connections, create a usable public product with high stakes and ownership. This tactic incorporates the “Love for student culture + Respect their genius = collective effervescence.”

Tom McFadden teaches 8th grade science in California

Examples of student work

Verse 1: Approaches

This works the best as an elective course, club, after school thing- science rap academy. It is hard to do during class time. Forcing students to do this is challenging. Need a simple message- in your repetitive lyrics. Need to know the main point

  1. Watch- hook, review, call/response
  2. Karaoke-phenotype
  3. Annotate- rap genius/google sheet
    1. Rap genius allows you to annotate existing rap lyrics
  4. Finish and Rhyme- fill in the plank (Hot water-fill in the planck # 2 )
    1. Simple rhyming couplets
  5. seve you science words over a science beat
  6. Verse two- make an existing song with the next verse is blank
  7. Academic Freestyle: Freestyle love supreme-maya angelou
    1. Beastie rap
    2. science free. Style
    3. Freeestyle friday
  8. This may take years to create the culture. (make a website in scratch)

Verse 2

  1. Provide scaffolding
  2. Be ready to rip it down
  3. Integrate ELA skills- arguing from evidence
  4. Apply cross cutting concepts


What is the golgi? By Tom?

Second verse is left blank for students


The steps

STEP 1: Big question

STEP 2 Research

STEP 3- synthesize everything into one maine message of your vesr below

STEP 4- Claim, evidence, reasoning

First column in normal english.

STEP 5 THen and only then do you fill in the second column-

STEP 6- translate into lyrics



STEP 1 How does genotype communicate with phenotype?

STEP 2 Research

Genotype are the alleles the genetic constitution of an individual organism.

Phenotype is the genes expression, how it is physically expressed

Homozygous, heterozygous, dominant, recessive

Phenotype-the set of observable characteristics of an individual resulting from the interaction of its genotype with the environment.

one of two or more alternative forms of a gene that arise by mutation and are found at the same place on a chromosome.


STEP 3 Main point:

Genotype is the genetic constitution whereas phenotype is the physical expression based on the genotype interacting with the environment.


My rap…

Step 4

Key points

Step 5

Relevant Rhyming Letters

Step 6

Translate into Lyrics

What is the difference between genotype and phenotype? Hype, skype, I don’t know why there is such a hype between the difference between genotype and phenotype?
Alleles are two letters that represent a trait Meals, wheels,

wait, date,

Don’t get confused by the spinning wheels.

Traits are represented by the alleles.

Genotype is made of alleles Hype, skype

Fade, bade, glade,said,

Letters make up your genotype

Let’s connect through skype

Dominant alleles are symbolized by capital letters Wetters, setters Dominant alleles are symbolized by the letter

Don’t worry you won’t be a bed-wetter.



Let them build something creative, not necessarily a rap

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