May 08, 2006

"Filling a void where Schoolhouse Rock left off in the 70s"...'s a punk/rock-n-roll romp through U.S. history with Professor Presley History Rocks, an "educational American history CD". Thanks to both Fuse #8 and Warren at Children's Music That Rocks, Donnell colleagues and some of NYPL's finest bloggers, for the tip. Enough to make most curriculum-mad homeschooling parents drool, and I'm not even talking about Ramones pal and confidante LaMai.

Professor Presley, aka Bill Reynolds, a Fender-playing, award-winning middle school social studies teacher in Encinitas, California, has put together an album that covers early American history to Reconstruction (Chris, heads up!). According to the website, "Professor Presley History Rocks helps students learn (and teachers teach) some of the basic lessons of U.S. History in a fun and entertaining way while listening to rock- and punk-influenced songs. The song topics are taken from the California Social Studies History Standards for 8th grade U.S. History" and include
1. The English Heritage: "about key documents that have an influence on the United States such as the Magna Carta, the English Bill of Rights, and the Mayflower Compact";
2. A New Constitution (see the liner notes and lyrics);
3. Ham N Jeff, about the beliefs of Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson, and the birth of political parties in the United States;
4. War of 1812;
5. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, about the War with Mexico;
6. Find a Cause, about the Reform Era and various reform movements of the 1800's;
7. A Dividing Nation, about the events that led to the Civil War from the Missouri Compromise up to the bombing of Fort Sumter;
8. The Civil War; and,
9. Reconstruction Rock

You can have a listen here, and if you like what you hear, order here ($10.00 plus $3 for shipping; there's also a Teacher's Tool Kit, with two CDs and other goodies for $45.00) and know that Professor Presley and company -- including vocalist (and daughter of Chef Emeril) Jillian Lagasse -- are in the studio as I type working on volumes two and three, "World History Rocks" and "Science Rocks".

Rock on, Professor P.

By the way, for any Canadians looking for Northern history set to music (albeit without the punk influence), you can try Mike Ford's Canadian history songs and Sara Jordan's Prime Ministers of Canada CD. Mike Ford highly recommended here at Farm School.

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