School & District Management

How Lady Gaga Is Helping to Teach the French Revolution

By Caroline Cournoyer — January 03, 2011 1 min read

Two teachers in Hawaii have found a way to make lessons about centuries-old people and events relevant to their high school students: Teach them to the tune of Lady Gaga.

According to the Honolulu Star Advertiser, Amy Burvall, a history teacher, and Herb Mahelona, a technology curriculum coordinator, joined forces four years ago to create history-themed music videos to the tune of today’s most popular songs. Their repertoire includes Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance,” which they’ve turned into an origins and events of the French Revolution, and Gwen Stefani’s “Hollaback Girl,” which they use to address the Bubonic Plague.

According to Mahelona, “The kids just eat it up. And then they take the exam and just from singing the songs, they would remember everything.” One AP European history student commented on YouTube that the videos “really help me memorize the needed characteristics.”

But students aren’t the only ones enjoying the videos; Teachers around the country have been praising the duo on their YouTube page asking them to create more for American history.

Burvall and Mahelona hope to create a website for the videos they’ve made (49 to date), but for now, you can access them all on YouTube.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Teaching Now blog.