Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

January 19, 2018
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Video From Hamilton Mixtape Just Released: “Wrote My Way Out”

A music video from the Hamilton Mixtape (which are songs that build on the original music) has just been released for “Wrote My Way Out.”

I’ve previously shared how I use this song with my English Language Learners (see Using “Wrote My Way Out” From Hamilton With Students (Including Writing Prompt) ).

You can read the lyrics to the Mixtape version here.

Here is the music video, followed by a lyrics video of the song.

I’m adding this post to The Best Teaching/Learning Resources On The Musical, “Hamilton”

August 29, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Two New Cool Hamilton Resources

 

As regular readers know, I’m a big Hamilton fan (and I got to see it in San Francisco last month!).

You can see a zillion related resources at The Best Teaching/Learning Resources On The Musical, “Hamilton”

Here are two new additions to the list:

The Library of Congress has just digitized a collection of his letters, including one he wrote at the age of twelve and the one he wrote to his wife the night before his duel and death.  You can see the collection here and read about it in this NPR story: I Saved Every Letter You Wrote Me: The Library of Congress Digitizes Hamilton

‘Hamilton’ Hip-Hop, by Students is a NY Times interactive showing-off Hamilton-inspired raps by students. The neat twist is that they are shown as a multiple-choice cloze, so you have to choose which words fit.

July 22, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Using “Wrote My Way Out” From Hamilton With Students (Including Writing Prompt)

My wife took me to see Hamilton as birthday present this past week and, of course, it was amazing!

Regular readers know I’m a big fan (see The Best Teaching/Learning Resources On The Musical, “Hamilton”).

I’ve used Hamilton in class (see Using “My Shot” From Hamilton With ELLs & Others (Including Writing Prompt)), and I’ve been thinking about how I could use its song “Hurricane.”  That song has been modified and released as a mixtape titled “Wrote My Way Out,” which is the part of the song that I think I could particularly use with ELLs.

This is a lyrics video of the original Hamilton song:

You can read the lyrics here.

The verse that I’m thinking of using is this one:

I wrote my way out
Wrote everything down far as I could see
I wrote my way out
I looked up and the town had its eyes on me

There are variations of that verse in other parts of the song, and I think those parts could be pretty accessible to ELLs and they’d certainly enjoy it.

The mixtape uses lots of the original lyrics, but adds a lot, too. You can read all the lyrics here and I’ve embedded the video below (which only contains audio):

I  particularly like the final lyrics to that version:

I picked up the pen like Hamilton
I wrote my way out of the projects
Wrote-wrote my way out of the projects
Picked up the pen like Hamilton
I wrote my way out of the
Wrote-wrote my way out of the projects
I wrote my way out
Picked up the pen like Hamilton
I wrote my way out of the

(I wrote my way out)
Really, I saw like a hole in the rap game, so if I wanted to put my
little two cents in the game, then it would be from a different
perspective
(I wrote my way out)
I thought that I would represent for my neighborhood and tell
their story, be their voice, in a way that nobody has done it
Tell the real story

WRITING PROMPT:

I’m thinking that I could use the music with my Intermediate English Language Learners and ask them to respond to this prompt:

What do you think the singer means by “I wrote my way out. I thought that I would represent for my neighborhood and tell their story, be their voice, in a way that nobody has done it. Tell the real story”? Who do you think has told the story of your community? Do you think you could be a voice of your community? If you think you can help tell your community’s story, how could you do it and what kind of help would you need? If don’t think you can tell your community’s story, please explain why not.

What do you think?

I’ll be adding this post to Best Posts On Writing Instruction, as well as to the Hamilton “Best” list.

Save

July 11, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Alexander Hamilton Was Killed On This Day In 1804 – Here Are A Ton Of Resources On The Show Based On His Life

Alexander Hamilton was shot and killed by Aaron Burr on this date in 1804.

You might be interested in The Best Teaching/Learning Resources On The Musical, “Hamilton.”

By the way, my wife is taking me to see the show in San Francisco next week!

June 28, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
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“Hamilton” Videos & Contest To Support Immigrants

Lin Manuel Miranda began a contest this week to raise money for organizations that support immigrants.

You can enter easily by contributing ten dollars, along with the option of videotaping yourself singing any song from Hamilton. The winner of the contest gets to be Miranda’s guest at the L.A. opening of the show.

There have been a number of great videos of celebrities (and non-celebrities!) singing, including Northern California’s own Curry family:

Here’s a video of Lin Manuel Miranda explaining the contest:

Miranda also just today released a great mix-tape music video based on his song “Immigrants (We Get The Job Done). It’s great but, unfortunately, includes a swear word in Spanish. So I’m not going to include it in this post.

You might also be interested in The Best Teaching/Learning Resources On The Musical, “Hamilton”

April 26, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Google Unveils Virtual Reality Tours Related To Alexander Hamilton

From a post today in Google’s blog:

Using Google Expeditions, students can explore places like Alexander Hamilton’s home in Uptown Manhattan, Philadelphia’s Independence Hall, and the infamous site of Aaron Burr–Alexander Hamilton duel in Weehawken, New Jersey.  In addition, using Google Arts and Culture, the Gilder Lehrman Institute is bringing online dozens of rare archives and artifacts related to Hamilton’s era including early printings of the U.S. Constitution and a letter to his wifeexpressing his love.

You can read more about it at:

VR puts Oakland students in the rooms where Hamilton happened at the San Francisco Chronicle.

Google brings students to Hamilton, in VR and IRL at CNN.

I’m adding this info to:

A Beginning List Of The Best Resources On Virtual Reality In Education

The Best Teaching/Learning Resources On The Musical, “Hamilton”

I’m looking forward to seeing “Hamilton” in San Francisco (my wife got tickets for me as a birthday present!)

November 5, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
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New Hamilton Mixtape Version Of “My Shot” Nice Addition To Yesterday’s Lesson

Yesterday, I posted Using “My Shot” From Hamilton With ELLs & Others (Including Writing Prompt).

Today, a Hamilton mixtape was coincidentally released, including a Roots version of “My Shot.” The chorus remains the same, but the rest of the lyrics have been reimagined:

The new “My Shot” is additionally fascinating in that it inverts the entire conceit of Hamilton. Miranda’s first insight was that Alexander Hamilton’s life is a “hip-hop story”; now, Black Thought shows up to un-submerge that narrative, spelling out exactly what it means. He opens the song describing schoolkids being told their choices in life are between “mugshots, gun shots, dope shots, jump shot” before getting to the memorable couplet, “When even role models tell us we’re born to be felons / We’re never gettin’ into Harvard or Carnegie Mellon.” “Rise up” still means something very real, you’re reminded, for lots of Americans.

I don’t think it alters the lesson I suggested for ELLs because of how quickly the words are song, but it would be a nice addition if you were using the idea with students proficient in English.

You can read the new lyrics here, and listen to it in this embedded version:

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