Students can write songs to define terms, describe formulas, and/or explain concepts. The following is the Quadratic Formula Song set to the tune of Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star:
First you take a negative b
Then plus or minus and follow me
Under the big square root you’ll see
b2 minus 4ac
Divide it all by two times a
That’s how you find the x today.
Students can work individually or in small groups. They can record or perform their songs. If the select a tune like Row, Row, Row Your Boat, the class can perform the song as a round.
As an alternative to songs and cheers, students may prefer to write poems. The Haiku, Cinquain, and Diamante Poetry are all types of poems that students may find of interest.
This form of poetry has a simple formula:
5 syllables in first line
7 syllables in second line
5 syllables in third line
Theme of calculusBeware integers
Find the slope of the tangentNegative times negative
dy / dxIs a positive
Interest equalsSine, cosine, tangent
Principal x Rate x TimeRight triangle ratios
Simple interestUse SOH, CAH, TOA
This form of poetry tells about one idea, small detail, or experience. A cinquain has 5 lines. The lines can be arranged by words or by syllables. The cinquain has a pleasing rhythm but no regular rhythm or rhyme pattern. A cinquain can be capitalized and punctuated in any way or not at all.
Line 1 – title with 2 syllables
Line 2 – description of title with 4 syllables
Line 3 – action about the title with 6 syllables