Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Canterbury Tales Spotify Playlist Using Google Slides

Leveraging social media to teach students can be a huge win in your classroom. Finding ways to bring students' worlds into the classroom not only adds high interest, it also gives you that sneak attack advantage to learning! Music says a lot and is a huge part of our lives, especially our students' lives. Having students curate a playlist could be a way for them to show concepts they have learned, their perspective on characters, or their view on a historical event.

I was visiting a senior English class that was finishing up Canterbury Tales and they were playing a review game of the characters and their traits. This sparked the idea of bringing in one of their favorite apps to gain more insight on their perspective of some of the characters.

Google Slides + Spotify led to amazing conversations about the characters from Canterbury Tales! To create the Google Slides template for them to use, I just took a screengrab of one of my playlists and used PowerPoint to take away the photos and songs from it. I used boxes and made them the color of the background to cover up and then took another screengrab of the "blank" playlist creating a template for slides. I set this image as the background so I could add the details that they would edit on top. It took less than hour to create the template and an example. Most of that time was spent coming up with songs and looking for clean versions of the video!

I shared the Spotify Google Slides template with students through Google Classroom, making sure to choose make a copy for each student. I went through my example {I love examples} showing them little tips and tricks of using the template and slides. Students are so digital but there are details they do not know, so don't assume they are completely savvy! Going through my example also showed them the expectation for their playlist.

I used the side space on the slide to put directions and what was editable for student to reference. Students had to come up with a playlist title, cover photo, and a photo for each song. I also put in a place for them to add their profile photo if they wanted! The song requirements included the name of the song and artist and the Canterbury Tales character. 

Spotify has a feature called Behind the Lyrics where you can get the story behind the song, artist stories, and fun facts about the song. I included this section in the template for students to write their rationale for choosing the song for that character. I encouraged them to be creative! It was hilarious to listen to the songs they chose and the commentary and discussion among the class during this activity!

I gave the option to add a YouTube video link to the song cover photo. Not many students took me up on this, probably because of the songs they chose! It was definitely hard to find clean versions even for my example!

This can be done a couple of different ways. You could have a gallery walk with each student pulling theirs up in present mode and let them walk around and view. You could also pull each one up on the promethean board or the presentation board you have. 

This project was a big hit! They enjoyed this Spotify-social media aspect and being creative with songs and behind the lyrics. The singing and laughter were at a high volume the day we worked on these in class. I love when there is a learning buzz in the classroom! Even though it was an independent project, many asked neighbors or shared their creative, funny song selections and rationale. 

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