Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Singing as A Pedagogical Tool?

With the onset of the AALS New Law Teachers Workshop this week, I thought I would take this time to take a break from writing about scholarship and blog about teaching.  But this post won't focus on questions such as which case should be the first case covered in property or which case book one should choose

Rather, we can take a (quick) break from our research and writing to talk about interesting and unique pedagogical ways of teaching property.  Singing, for example, has long been known by child educators as an effective teaching tool.  Of course, our law students are no longer children but surely, some of you might agree that singing poses a distinctive and perhaps effective way of teaching a case? 

I have to confess that I (yes, a first year law professor) sang to my students when I was teaching future interests.  My students at SMU told me later that I helped decrease the stress (a little bit anyway) of learning life estates.  When I taught Kelo v. City of New London, I circulated the words to the "Kelo Song," which was written by a student member of the Harvard Law School Federalist Society. 

So how many of you sing songs to your students?  From conversations I've had with some of you at last year's AALS Annual Conference, I know that several of you do.  Any other songs (or poetry) you want to share?  Do you have other creative ways of teaching property?

Rose Cuison Villazor

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» Teaching Tips: Of Songs and Poems from PropertyProf Blog
This post has been sitting on my computer for a year and, inspired by Rose's post on property songs, I thought I'd blow the dust off it and put it up. I've been corresponding with one of my favorite former [Read More]

Tracked on Jun 29, 2007 8:43:46 AM


Ah, love this post, Rose.

Songs are great vehicles--or lyrics, anyway. My favorite is from YMCA--

I felt no one cared if I were alive.
I felt this whole world is so jive.

Great for use when dealing with cases that students might perceive to be unfair. And Procol Harum, Whiter Shade of Pale! Well, that one deserves a post all its own.

Posted by: Al Brophy | Jun 27, 2007 4:37:40 PM

I definitely don't sing -- coming from me, it would qualify as student abuse.

Posted by: Ben Barros | Jun 28, 2007 6:19:12 AM

This won't help us with property (and wouldn't help me, because I'm in Ben's position with the singing) but John Lavelle at UNM is an amazing singing torts professor--he's got a song on the Hand negligence formula to the tune of "I'm your handy man," one the kid on the snowmobile to the tune of jingle bells, etc. One of his students for a summer program for native students about to start law school told me the songs helped her remember the concepts six months later when she studied for her torts final in her first year.

Posted by: Bethany Berger | Jun 28, 2007 9:26:42 AM

Read this post from the Conglomerate Blog more tha 2 years ago about "Legal Lyrics."

Posted by: Rose Villazor | Jun 28, 2007 10:23:00 AM

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