Home    Song List     Links    





Woman Playing Guitar

Pierre-Auguste Renoir





 Song parody

A very simple definition - borrowing the tune of another song.


The Mom Song


  • Choose a familiar song (see links below for ideas and exclusions)

  • Write new words, maintaining the rhythm scheme (this means matching up the same number of syllables:  see example below)

  • Your new song should teach a lesson appropriate for an elementary class (see links below for topics and subject area suggestions)

  • Put your song parody in Word document (or comparable) form

  • Make a copy for each student in the class (and one for me)


    Grading Rubric


    Syllables match

    Rhyme scheme correct

    Teaches an appropriate lesson


    Minor syllable infractions


    Minor syllable and rhyme infractions or several of one


    Not enough lesson value with minor syllable and/or rhyme infractions


    Minimal lesson value plus infractions


    Based on relative infractions of disregard for matching syllables, rhyme scheme, lack of lesson, disregard for instructions, late assignment, or failure to complete the assignment



 Links for topics and examples:


Don't use a list for your lesson, i.e. Days of the Week, Months of the Year, etc.   Those don't rhyme and don't fit the syllable structure of familiar songs


Don't use "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star."  I'm tired of that tune!


Make sure the lesson has some substance (not "be good").





Most of these are not song parodies, but show how a song can be used to teach a subject


NIEHS kids music

Lyrics and midi files


Elementary songs and poems

Quite a few of these are song parodies


Science Songs

More songs by Jeff Moran





Give Me a Supernova (must have RealPlayer to listen)

To the tune of "Give My Regards to Broadway"


You Ain't Nothin' But a Groundhog

To the tune of "You Ain't Nothin' But a Houndog"


Food Irradiation

To the tune of "Locomotion"


Wash Your Hands

To the tune of I Wanna Hold Your Hand


The Antonym

To the tune of "The Muffin Man"


The Planting Plan

To the tune of "The Hokey Pokey"




How to match your words with the familiar song:


  1. Write out the words to the familiar song, with the syllables divided.  Example:

    Yankee Doodle went to town, riding on a pony



  2. Add your own words, matching a strong or weak syllable as was used in the original song.

  3. Be sure to use rhyming words in the same positions as in the familiar song.


Here's an example of a song parody - to be sung to the tune of "I've Been Working on the Railroad" (thanks Olivia Frederich!)

First the sun heats up the water,

Then turns to vapor in the sky.

Next it cools and turns to liquid,

And now it's clouds up high.


The clouds condense and turn to rainfall,

Then groups in the oceans, streams, and land.

The water cycle keeps on going

As mother Earth demands.


Evaporation heats,

Condensation cools,

Precipitation is when we see snow,

Collection is when water

Gathers on our Earth,

So we and the plants can grow.




Performance Indicators


Needs Improvement




Lesson content

Content material is unacceptable

Content material is redundant; of little use in reinforcing the concept

Content material is associated with a concept; somewhat useful

Content material is helpful in teaching the concept; useful

Content material is a significant aid in teaching the concept; very useful


0 points

28 points

32 points

36 points

40 points

Rhythm and flow

No regard for rhythm and flow

Inconsistent rhythm and flow

Partially consistent rhythm and flow

Mostly consistent rhythm and flow

Consistent rhythm and flow as original song


0 points

21 points

24 points

27 points

30 points

Rhyme scheme

No adherence to the original rhyme scheme

Incorrect rhyme schemes

Incorrect rhyme scheme in at least one area

One or more close rhyme schemes

Exact rhyme scheme as associated with original song


0 points

21 points

24 points

27 points

30 points

Total points








"Educators have always known that learning and life are maximal where play and work coincide." -- L. W. Gibbs



   Home       Links    



Created and Maintained by Vicky V. Johnson