Muppets in the Classroom Part Two

In honor of The Muppets, released November 23, I offer several applications of Muppets to the classroom.  Some suggestions are actually good ideas.  Others have no basis in sound educational theory…but I’m not saying which are which!

Part One covered the 3Rs: Reading, ‘Riting, and ‘Rithmetic.  Now for the really fun stuff—everything else!

Science: Bunsen Honeydew and Beaker have given us so much.  From elevator shoes to make “short, stubby people like Beaker here” taller to alchemy gone bad (turning gold into cottage cheese), these hapless scientists demonstrate what NOT to do in the lab.  They provide fodder for endless discussion on ethics in scientific experiments.  If Beaker could talk, he might have something to say about subjects’ rights!

Social Studies: only on the Muppets can Sly be your guide to Roman history.  My students love to watch him as a singing gladiator in a Muppet recreation of the Coliseum.  Cross curricular connection: if Sylvester Stallone and the lion can agree to disagree, even going so far as to sing Gershwin’s classic “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off,” can’t we stop poking our neighbors with erasers?  Click here and watch the whole thing or skip to 5 minute mark for the gladiator number.

Music: Obviously, The Muppet Show is full of music, but I think a special shout-out should go to the Muppet Bohemian Rhapsody that catapulted them back onto the World Wide Web stage.  It’s brilliant!  Beaker’s Ode to Joy and Habanera are fun, too!  Also, don’t miss the Muppet band Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem, shown here singing Rockin’ Robin in a tree.

Character Education: I just love to use the classic “Why Can’t We Be Friends” number when my class devolves into pointless squabbles.  The number releases tension and students are singing instead of bickering!  (Note: this only works with minor, sibling-type squabbles.  Serious problems need to be taken seriously.)  Cross curricular connection: try to name all the soldiers and battles referenced in this ultimate conflict!

Health: “And now, the continuing stoooory of a quack who’s gone to the dogs,” opened Rowlf’s Veterinarians Hospital, which has many applications to the modern health classroom.  Where else can you encounter so many puns is so short a lesson?  Doctor Bob can help any patient, from a telephone to a train conductor.

We are thankful for the Muppets!

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Posted in Academics by Corey Green @ Nov 24, 2011


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