Billy Joel’s 1989 hit song, We Didn’t Start the Fire, has been used social studies lesson plans for almost 20 years now. The song mentions major world events from 1949 through 1989. This video matches an image to every event mentioned in the song.
Thanks to Open Culture for sharing the video.
Applications for Education
One way that this song has been used by social studies teachers is by having students conduct research projects on the events mentioned in the song. Now that there are great video creation tools like Animoto, students could create their own video about the same set of events. A more original use of the concept would be to have students create a song or music video about important world events in their lifetimes.