This assignment was carried out by students in their third year of high school (Liceo). At Sociale we follow the CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning) methodology for Science. The students have two hours per week of team-taught Science (both Italian teacher and mother tongue Science teacher). In every lesson, there is a Science related activity in English. They had already done group presentations about the digestive system. Then we started working on the circulatory system. Part of their curriculum is Biology, in particular, body systems.
After studying the cardiovascular system, the students listened to The Circulatory Song. which is a rap song that describes the path of blood from the heart to the rest of the body and back to the heart.
I had used the song at the end of the unit just to listen to and summarize the system but I was never satisfied with just listening to the song. I thought it would be great if the students could sing the song. I know that they need speaking practice. They also need “fast speech” practice. Singing a song well means repeating it many times and that’s just what they need. The problem was how to make them sing. Singing in front of the class would have been too embarrassing for many and there would have been comments and distractions. That’s why I came up with the idea of making a video. Since all the students have tablets and know perfectly well how to make a video, I thought it would be a fun and useful activity. They had a week to prepare the video.
Then, in class we watched the videos. The didactic objective was to reinforce their knowledge of the system but also to work on English language fluency. In order to make the video they certainly sang the song many times (repetition) and they had to keep time with the music – so they had to use fast speech. At the same time they had fun doing it and watching all the videos.
Diana Fahey is a CLIL Science teacher at the Istituto Sociale, Torino, Italy.