I had the radio on in my car the other day, and on came a Prince song I have not heard in years. Maybe decades. And I still knew every. single. word. It's amazing what can happen to memory when attached to music, rhymes, and rhythms. I still remember the causes of the civil war, as learned in 5th grade because of mnemonics, and I often hum "Conjunction junction, what's your function? Hooking up words and phrases and clauses..." from Schoolhouse Rocks and my 4th grade Language Arts teacher. Rats, now that's going to be stuck in my head all day!
I came across Rhyme 'n Learn through the Free Tech for Teachers blog. Rhyme 'n Learn is a collection of math and science related raps and songs designed to help students remember complex equations and processes. There are similar raps found at Educational Rap, though there are raps for more content areas here.
There's also an amazing list of songs for young children at Literacy Connections. The list provides links so you can hear all the songs written to help kids learn to listen to directions, parts of the body, money, opposites, clothing, telling time, and values. Another incredible list of songs is at Songs for Teaching, which includes songs about math, music, art, seasons, special education, science, and songs in other languages.
There are literacy-specific rhymes for young readers at PBS Between the Lions. There are some interesting lessons for teaching more complex grammar through songs here.
What are some of your favorite songs for teaching?