Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

December 15, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

Video: Playing For Change Releases Its Newest “Song Around The World” – Take Me Home, Country Roads

I’ve shared many of Playing For Change’s videos, especially their “Song Around The World” series where singers from…around the world collaborate in singing a song.

Today, they released their thirty-sixth in the series (you can see them all here):

December 13, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

“Radio Garden” Is A Curated Interactive Map Of Thousands Of Radio Stations Around The World


Radio Garden is an online interactive map of radio stations that you can listen to from around the world.

It came online today.

It’s pretty nifty, and you can read more about it at The Atlantic’s article, The Map That Lets You Listen to the Radio Everywhere.

It would be a good companion to Radiooooo, one of the coolest music sites around. You can click a country on a world map and then click a decade from the past 120 years, and it will then play music from that area and from that time period.

Both of them are now at The Best Sites For Learning About The World’s Different Cultures.

December 11, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

“Music In Exile” Unveiled Its Website Today – Support Refugee Musicians


I first heard about Music In Exile last month through an NPR story, A Story Of Crisis And Resilience, Told Through Music. As the story said:

Music in Exile is a recording project that collects songs and stories from people displaced by humanitarian crisis.

Today, they unveiled their website with music an stories from refugee musicians, and it’s impressive.

I’m adding the info to The Best Sites For Learning About World Refugee Day.

You might also be interested in my many previous posts about another justice-oriented music organization, Playing For Change.

November 3, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

Using “My Shot” From Hamilton With ELLs & Others (Including Writing Prompt)


I’m a big fan of the musical “Hamilton” but, of course, who isn’t? (see The Best Teaching/Learning Resources On The Musical, “Hamilton”)

“My Shot” is one of my favorite songs from the show and, though, like most of the songs, it’s sung too rapidly for many English Language Learners, it has an accessible chorus:

I am not throwing away my shot
I am not throwing away my shot
Hey yo, I’m just like my country
I’m young, scrappy, and hungry
And I’m not throwing away my shot

I’m going to talk with my student teacher about playing the song in U.S. History (after students learn about Alexander Hamilton), have students learn and sing the chorus, and then have them respond to this writing prompt:

The songwriter has Alexander Hamilton saying these words. What do you think he means by “I’m not throwing away my shot”? Can you think of others you know or who you have read about who have also not thrown away their “shots”? Who are they and what did they do? How can you apply this idea to your own life?

I think that prompt might be accessible to our Intermediate ELLs.  If not, I can make some changes.

I also want to try a version with my ELL Beginners. I think they would really enjoy the music, and they would like singing the chorus. It would be a good opportunity to learn about idioms. And I think, after explaining what it means, I’ll give them this sentence frame to respond to the question “How can you apply this idea to your own life?”:

“I’m not throwing away my shot because ______________________________________________.” Things I will do to not throw away my shot are _______________, _________________________, and __________________________.

It will fit in with our Social Emotional Learning lessons, and students could turn their response into a poster to hang on our classroom walls.

The lyrics to the song can be found here, and I’ve embedded two lyric videos that we can show in the classroom.  There is one classroom inappropriate word used in the song, but it’s just a quick “sh__ting” and, though I’ll double-check with administrators, I think it should be okay.

I’d love to hear ideas on how to make it a better activity!

I’m adding this post to The Best Posts On Writing Instruction.

NOTE: New Hamilton Mixtape Version Of “My Shot” Nice Addition To Yesterday’s Lesson

May 27, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

Video: “Everyday People” By Playing For Change

I’ve posted many videos from the nonprofit community development organization Playing For Change.

Their new one is great!

Here’s what they write about it:

Turnaround Arts is proud to present “Everyday People,” produced by Playing For Change.

Thousands of Turnaround Arts students from across the country perform alongside Turnaround Artist mentors including Jack Johnson, Chad Smith, Jason Mraz, Elizabeth Banks, Tim Robbins, Yo-Yo Ma, Keb’ Mo’, Josh Groban, Bernie Williams, Misty Copeland, Paula Abdul, Trombone Shorty, Alfre Woodard, Citizen Cope, Doc Shaw, Frank Gehry, John Lloyd Young, Carla Dirlikov and more. In the video, produced by Playing For Change, students and their artist mentors sing, play and dance to Sly and the Family Stone’s “Everyday People,” making the case that all people deserve to experience the power of arts and music in school.

Turnaround Arts, the signature program of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities empowers high-need, low performing schools with innovative arts, dance, theater and music programs, arts integration across subject areas, arts resources, musical instruments, and high-profile artist mentors, as a proven strategy to help address broader school challenges and close the achievement gap.

Learn more:

March 4, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

“Radiooooo” Is A Cool Music Site That Crosses The World & The Decades


Radiooooo is one of the coolest music sites around. You can click a country on a world map and then click a decade from the past 120 years, and it will then play music from that area and from that time period.

You can develop a list of “saved” songs, but I wasn’t able to figure out if and how you could share them.

It’s a great addition to The Best Sites For Learning About The World’s Different Cultures.

Thanks to Google Maps Mania for the tip.

February 23, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

Amazing Interactive Of Bosch’s “Garden Of Earthly Delights”


Every day I learn how little I know…

Yesterday, Katherine Schulten, the extraordinary editor of The New York Times Learning Network, sent out a tweet about an amazing interactive of the Netherlandish artist Hieronymus Bosch’s “The Garden Of Earthly Delights.”

It is indeed amazing, and provides audio support for the text, which makes it even more accessible to ELLs.

And, to my embarrassment, I had never heard of the artist or the painting, which is obviously very famous.

What will I learn, that I don’t know today, tomorrow?

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