Song Parody Learning

This latest guest blog post is was written by Martyn Beaumont. You can follow Martyn on Twitter @doverno10 .

Having taught GCSE PE for a few years I have started to become more experimental with my approaches to different chapters and especially my assessment of their work. I have already been trialling the use of SOLO taxonomy since September and using Edmodo to engage pupils outside of the classroom, with both having a positive effect. Now for the use of a potentially risky assessment style!

My GCSE group had worked through a chapter on injuries in the normal way with a various mixture of practicals and content based lessons. Instead of completing an end of unit test, presentation or video I decided to take a risk and get them to complete a song parody for assessment. I had read about this being done as a lesson task on twitter but cannot remember who tweeted it (my apologies), so decided to adapt it for an assessment .The stage was set, I had told the group about the up and coming task, there was a hint of excitement in the classroom (not just from me) and all of the class waited for the release of the song title that they would be writing to. As soon as the song started there were numerous moans and groans when they realised the song was ‘One Direction – Little Things’, a really manly song!!

After explaining my justification for choosing this song; the fact it was very simple tune and was essentially made for rhyming the boys forgave me and then asked for the criteria. This is where the real work started, the boys came up with the criteria themselves and after group discussions and whole class voting we decided on this:

• Four verses and a chorus
• Verse one – Causes of injury
• Verse two – Prevention of injury
• Verse 3 – Types of injury
• Verse 4 – Treatment of injury
• Chorus – Choice, as long as it is related to the topic.
• Every pupil in the group must take part (groups were four maximum)

This was introduced in the last twenty minutes of a lesson and gave the pupils time to get in to their groups and start discussing how they were going to attack the song. A small homework was set for that night to arrive at the next lesson (which was the next day) with some ideas for the parody. To my surprise our Edmodo page was inundated with questions about the task from a number of pupils and it seemed that the assessment had really managed to enthuse and engage in the boys.

The next lesson arrived and the whole one hour lesson was dedicated to writing, practising, tweaking and getting the song complete ready for recording. I had the song available on two laptops, one ipad and an ipod but these were not needed. At least two boys from each group had already downloaded the song onto their phones and were busy working on the parody. Progress at first was to say the least enthusiastic but a little slow, due to the pupils struggling to think creatively and outside of the box. It was at this point I played them a version of one I had done at home (with my shocking voice) and this seemed to help with the understanding of what was needed and a good laugh at the same time, especially my shocking use of English to make it rhyme. They all also wanted theirs to be better than mine so the competition was now on!!

During the writing stage pupils were constantly referring back to their notes, checking up for extra information and questioning me on various other things that they could input into the song. I was in the room but was barely needed as the pupils worked solidly for the majority of the lesson. One group got to the recording stage early as they had worked on it via Facebook the night the work was set. I sent them off in to the room next door with an ipad, the ipod with the music song on and their questionable voices ready to record. I set it all up for them but then left the room as I did not want them to feel embarrassed about singing and performing in front of their teacher. After eight attempts and a few more tweaks the first group were complete and happy with the end result.

I expected all groups to complete this task within the one hour lesson I gave them but unfortunately they didn’t. Homework was then set to work collaboratively to complete the song ready for recording in the next lesson. I also set a second task of using Edmodo to suggest marking criteria standards as we were going to listen to and grade each song parody as a group.

The third lesson arrives and finally we really get down to the completion and recording of all the groups material. Recording was a painful process as it did take at least six attempts minimum to get the required result for each group but was well worth it. I was using a free app called voice record pro HD on the ipad and just played the music in the background on an ipod with the pupils standing next to the ipad ‘singing’.

After the completion of the recordings we sat down to listen to the work (with some very embarrassed looking faces) and grade all that had been produced. Based on the homework set on Edmodo I created a very simple grading sheet with five criteria: (marking out of 5)

Understanding of content
Accuracy of information
Does it meet the criteria
Quality of rhyming
Quality of vocal ability (for fun more than anything)

These marks were then collated and a prize given to the winning group of online casino Canada.

Overall this has been one of the most enjoyable assessment tasks I have done in my teaching career. The amount of consolidation work, extension, collaboration, creativity and fun that was being had was a real joy to see and it was clear from the results the pupils had more than exceeded my expectations. Although the final results are far from perfect the quality of learning that has taken place has been fantastic. I would recommend this task to anyone looking for a way to either teach content (without essentially teaching it) or using it as I did as a means to assess the understanding gained by pupils.Below are all the songs (including mine) for you to sample my pupils work, all comments welcome!

So Martyn’s group have proved that they have got the X-Factor, Has your group got the X-Factor? As sportspeople we all like a challenge!!

Using mobile technology in GCSE PE Lessons

The following guest post was written by Dan Ellerby. You can follow him on Twitter @PEexpert.
After recently getting the go ahead to trial mobile technology within PE in order to monitor its impact and effectiveness with a view to implementing this within other curriculum areas, our PE department have been working hard to plan and deliver lessons with greater ownership and innovation. Twitter has been our inspiration to learn new ideas and concepts, and we have been able to use and adapt a lot of the good practice which has been shared.
I wanted to combine a number of apps within one lesson to motivate and engage my GCSE PE students when learning about Performance Enhancing Drugs in sport. Initially, I devised a short multiple choice Socrative quiz (SOC – 601518) for the group to complete as a starter, before any learning had taken place. As expected, the report was predominantly red showing that students had answered most questions incorrectly, shown below.

Students were then given the task of researching different PED’s including their benefits and side effects using either a computer or their phone. Once this was completed they then had to write about their findings and post into their Edmodo group, which was then peer assessed using the reply function by another member of the class. The students were more engaged in this lesson than any other I have delivered this year, simply due to the fact they enjoyed using the apps and their phones as part of their learning. The quality of their peer assessment was excellent, and all students were keen to contribute to the class discussions that were generated as a result of their research.
At the end of the lesson, students once again completed the Socrative quiz and as you can see below, the progress was clear to see as now their answers were predominantly green. The visual and immediate feedback was not only fantastic for me as the teacher, but also for all of the students because they could appreciate the progress they had made. This is something I will certainly be using more of in the future, and the live results that can be displayed whilst students are completing the quiz are valuable in monitoring the speed in which students are working and their existing knowledge base.

The extension and/or homework task for the class was to use Audioboo in order to create a podcast on their findings. Again, students were much more engaged completing this type of activity knowing that they could hand in their work without actually doing any writing or typing and so once again, the standard of their work much better than it has been in the past. An example of one of their podcasts can be seen via the following link:

The next step is for the class to create revision guides/posters which have QR Codes linking directly to their podcasts. Hopefully, by the end of the year students will have a bank of revision posters which they can use both within and beyond lessons, linking to podcasts created by themselves for all areas of the syllabus.
Since the introduction of new technologies within PE, students have been much more engaged, involved and motivated within lessons. Students appear to appreciate learning tasks and activities that are pitched at their level, using technology that is relevant and suitable within today’s society

Collaborating within GCSE PE to improve pupils thinking and independence

Over the past few years of teaching GCSE PE I find myself endlessly thinking of new ideas to try and implement within my teaching to ensure that the pupils in my lessons are getting the best opportunity to succeed and gain the best grade or level they can.
I decided to give collaborating ago. This blog will provide some of the examples of collaboration that I have implemented. They include using the following applications:

• Prezi
• Evernote
• Dropbox


After attending a few professional development courses I noticed the leaders of the course kept mentioning Prezi.
I was extremely curious to investigate Prezi further, as the leaders of the course mentioned that is was the next PowerPoint. Most of the lessons I teach have accompanying PowerPoint’s and worksheets already set up in a folder, which I adapt, modify and update regularly.

What is Prezi?

Prezi is a cloud-based presentation software and storytelling tool for exploring and sharing ideas on a virtual canvas. Prezi is distinguished by its Zooming User Interface, which enables users to zoom in and out of their presentation media.
The cloud based feature of Prezi means that the information is stored ‘Out there’ in the WWW (World Wide Web), which means that it can be accessed on various devices and computers as long as they can access the internet. Solving the problem of losing pen drives or not having enough storage space on computer hard drives.
But Prezi isn’t just about making presentations zoom and twist. It can have a bigger impact on the learning of pupils. Prezi has the capability to share presentations with others and also allow them to edit the presentations
With this is mind I thought of ideas of how I could implement Prezi into my GCSE PE teaching. I decided to use the sharing aspect of Prezi to allow greater collaboration both with pupils and other members of the PE department.
Each topic within the GCSE PE syllabus was updated from powerpoint to Prezi. This sounds like a daunting prospect, however Prezi allows for powerpoint slides to be uploaded straight into the Prezi canvas. Any additional information can then be easily added.
Once the Prezis’ for each topic were completed they were shared and opened for editing with each member of staff within the department. This would allow each member to add any additional content to each topic of the GCSE PE syllabus.
This means:
• Consistency of material being delivered
• Work is not being duplicated and time wasted
• All teachers feel valued and feel they have contributed
• Provides ownership of the resources and materials
Because Prezi is cloud based, all of the department can access the shared material in order to edit or present and changes to the presentations can be seen by all
The next step is to try and get the pupils to collaborate on planning and designing Prezi presentations for each of topics for revision. Pupils will work in small groups and have a different topic to plan for. Once all small groups have finished their presentations they will be shared with others in the group.
The Prezi viewer app for Ipad, Iphone and Ipod touch allows users to view Prezis on the go, which will provide excellent opportunities for revision.


Evernote is a fantastic application for recording down ideas, thoughts and images that you have about anything. In fact it is an excellent tool to note down anything.
I first started using evernote as an iphone app to note down my ideas about certain aspects of Physical Education. I found it so easy to note down the idea straight away when it popped into my head. The note is then easily accessible from any other device such as a laptop or ipad.
I recently discovered that there is a facility in evernote to share a notebook that you create to allow multiple users to add ideas and notes which are then saved onto the shared notebook.

Use it in your lessons

Why not allow the pupils to make notes on the lesson using evernote. Import pictures or even record mini podcasts on the lesson content.
This information is then collated into the shared notebook for all pupils to see and can be collated together for all pupils in the class to revise from
Pupils could add extra information to the notes for homework and add links to other relevant material


Dropbox is a way to store documents online in a cloud based file. The file can be accessed from various different devices as long as you are connected to the internet.
It is not just a simple cloud based storage area. You can create shared folders which can be accessed by people who you send an ‘invite’ to.
The people who you ‘invite’ to access your folder can view, download, upload and edit documents within that folder. This provides an excellent opportunity to collaborate with others.
An example of such collaboration is the ‘PE bible’. A dropbox folder which PE teachers from all over the World add their examples of good practice to daily. This information is available to all members of the folder to access and use.
There are other shared dropbox folders that are being created which focus on specific aspects such as GCSE PE.
The GCSE PE dropbox has resources for OCR, AQA and the Edexcel syllabus. PE teachers from all over the country have contributed resources and lesson material.
Use dropbox
You could use dropbox in any of the following ways:
• Implement dropbox into your department by setting up a shared folder which all resources go into

• Join one the already successful dropbox folders

• Create a dropbox for pupils to use as revision. All resources and materials are stored in the dropbox folder which pupils have access to
• Pupils store their homework and classwork in a dropbox folder which you can easily access

Collaboration is important because everyone has a different perspective on things, which can bring new ideas to a project boite de viagra prix.
Sometimes we are able to view situations from many angles, but we do not always see of them and can become blinkered.
When you collaborate with another person or other people, they can sometimes see the angles that you don’t. This makes for a more comprehensive and creative piece of work or project.