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Beloit teacher remixes lesson plans into rap songs, videos

By Margo Spann, mspann@wisctv.com
Published On: Oct 30 2013 07:49:53 PM CDT
Updated On: Oct 30 2013 07:54:22 PM CDT

John Honish

BELOIT, Wis. -

A Beloit teacher is gaining in popularity online for turning classroom lessons into song lyrics and music videos.

John Honish creates parodies of popular songs and uses them as lessons in his classroom. He said he wanted his students to retain the material, so he started rapping.

Honish said he likes to put the most important information in the chorus, since it will get repeated.

"Oh, Mr. Honish, you're so crazy to the kids that can recite every word from every video I've put out there," said Honish.

He remixed Kanye West's "Power" to teach students about World War II and Hitler.

For the last three years, Honish, a geography teacher, has been dropping rhymes and giving students a valuable lesson with each line.

"I'm no Taylor Swift. I'm not going to get any national awards for it, but if I find stuff that rhymes, I just jot it down, and it turns into a song,” Honish said.

Seventh-graders at Turner Middle School say he's the best, and watching his music videos helps them ace the test.

"He has some songs in his videos, so it makes you remember what he's talking about," said Jaelyn Rudolph.

Brendan Maloney agrees.

"It's not like any other class. It’s much more entertaining, but we get work done. I think I get more work done in this class,” said Maloney.

Each video takes 20-30 hours to create, so for his next music video, his students will have to wait.

In addition to his popularity in the classroom, Honish’s online popularity continues to grow. Even parents compliment him on how his rhymes flow.

"I get emails from parents all the time. 'They showed me the video last night; that's great work. I want you to keep it up.' There's a lot of parent support, which is nice,” said Honish.

He said the videos started off as a college project, and so far, he's created about 20 of them, with plans to create more.

All of Honish’s videos can be found on his YouTube page.

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