Here’s a fun way to help kids remember historic facts:  teaching history with rap music. Road Middle School teacher Claire Tamayo is only in her second year of teaching, but she has found ways to hold the attention of sixth graders.

“How do I get their attention? How do I make sure that they’re paying attention but getting content at the same time?” Tamayo asked herself. “If they’re hooked with the fun, then the content will sink in. Since it’s all about repetition, if we’re incorporating content and we’re doing hand motions or something that’s physical or repetitive, it sticks with them longer.”

Tamayo’s latest rap, “Romans Had A Dream,” combines Roman history with Kendrick Lamar’s rap song “Backseat Freestyle.” One of the rhymes is  “All my life I want money and power, respect my shine or lose your empire. You know your team is way smaller than ours so we gon’ conquer all in 72 hours.”

Tamayo is serious about this innovation, creating one video to go with each unit. She picks modern songs with themes that relate to the unit and rewrites the lyrics.

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