Examples of material to use with auditory learners
Music can be used as a background, possibly on entry to the room, to give some period awareness, such as songs of Vera Lynn for World War Two, or Gregorian Chant for the Middle Ages. I have used communist marching songs when teaching the Russian Revolution to give a feel of the sense of purpose that prevailed. Alternatively closer analysis of the lyrics can be made. Songs from World War One are commonly used. The Pogues' song “Waltzing Matilda” tells the story of Gallipoli. The recent Black Eyed Peas' track, ”Where is the Love?” can be taken as a ballad on the present state of world affairs in general or specifically on the Iraq war. It could be used to make analogy to political passions in the past, maybe as a comparison with Chartist songs. Evelyn Sweerts and Jacqui Grice examined the uses of the music of African-Americans to historians (2002), whilst Matthew Bradshaw made use of the OMD track “Enola Gay” in assessing the significance of the atomic bomb (2006). Speak to the music department in the school where you are working about what resources they have available, and about whether there is any commonality in what is taught to each year group. Planning a lesson using music could be time consuming, but very worthwhile in terms of creating thought provoking initial stimulus, and thereby a route to effective learning.
Another type of oral resource is the spoken word. Many CD Roms will include spoken words. Packs such as the Imperial War Museum 's “The Empire Needs Men” and “Together” include casettes of veterans from the Empire telling their stories. Alternatives are presentations by the most able pupils in the group, or the use of recordings of voices of colleagues or pupils reading speeches or plays. This requires some forward planning, but such resources can be used repeatedly. They will provide variety for pupils, and will also give your voice a break during the lesson. Recordings with different accents may give a more accurate context, as well as providing interest. One successful activity is to record different political speeches, asking pupils to link them with the author.
Any such activity that requires pupils to listen actively will be of benefit to everyone. Luff and Harris suggest reading a source aloud several times using alternative emphasis or tone, and asking pupils to decide which reading was closest to the original intention of the piece, and why.
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