Literacy 7-12

Systems Change

Music & Dance


Connecting information to music and dance moves enhances Short-term and Long-term Memory by drawing on auditory processes and the cognitive benefits of physical activity. When students create their own songs and corresponding dance moves, they activate even more cognitive processes by reflecting on how to represent what they are learning. As music has been shown to be a large part of adolescent culture, infusing it into lessons can increase student engagement and provide opportunities to enhance Critical Literacy.

Use It in the Classroom

Watch how this science teacher uses hip hop as the foundation of his pedagogical model. As an outlet that his students connect with, through hip hop, they learn and remember the content as they rhyme, make connections, and present their learnings to others.

  • Teachers can have students rewrite lyrics to familiar songs, create original songs, and add dance movements that demonstrate their understanding of concepts and relate to what they are learning. Teachers can also use historical music and dance to help enrich content teaching. Integrating content with these multiple modalities promotes deeper student understanding and engagement.
  • Design It into Your Product

    Videos are chosen as examples of strategies in action. These choices are not endorsements of the products or evidence of use of research to develop the feature.

    Learn how Incredibox allows learners to create instrumental songs, add vocals, and remix music to aid in learning. Through this engaging and fun activity, learners can interpret content in new ways which can support their understanding and Long-term Memory. Students can share their creations with classmates and teachers and work collaboratively during the process, which may increase Motivation.

  • Products can provide the tools for learners to create and record their own music or dance using audio and video capabilities. Developers can provide a space for students to upload their creations for feedback from peers and teachers.
  • Factors Supported by this Strategy