Elementary School Uses Music To Teach State History To Students

Sources: MLive – By Leanne Smith | All Things Michael


NAPOLEON, MI – Learning the state’s history is a rite of passage for Michigan third-graders.

About this time of year, they’re wrapping up that required social studies unit, and many do it in style with programs for parents and community members.

At Napoleon’s Eby Elementary School, that means sharing what they’ve learned in a musical Michigan history tribute.

On the air on NPR – that’s Napoleon Public Radio – third-graders “Captain” Von Quigg and “Mighty” Maggie VanWagnen led the school’s 100 third-graders in the “Pure Michigan” program.

“We cover every era in Michigan from pioneer settlers to Motown,” said third-grade teacher Meghan Bouman. “Our state is so awesome. We have so much cool history that everyone gets excited about it.”

Through call-in segments to the “radio hosts,” the students talked about things like the Erie Canal, timber, mining, automobiles, the Mackinac Bridge, Great Lakes shipwrecks and more.

There were vintage video clips that included Kellogg’s Tony the Tiger and Henry Ford’s automobile assembly line.

And there were lots of musical numbers, including a “Cereal Rap” and a thunderous rendition of Michael Jackson’s version of “Rockin’ Robin.”

“I loved ending the program by singing ‘Rockin’ Robin’ at the top of my lungs,” said 9-year-old third-grader Ian Smith. “The robin is our state bird.”


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