Tuesday, January 22, 2013

HOW Can We Teach Them? Benjamin Franklin Knows!

How do we teach children and young adults about sun safety and really get through to them?  I think about this a lot, as the question presents many challenges on various levels.  Today, I came across a quote I find brilliant, by Benjamin Franklin that, for me,seems to provide a great place to start...

"Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn."

I am a teacher by trade.  I attended Columbia University Teachers College for graduate school, which, luckily for me, was rooted heavily in a hands-on learning approach. I'm not a "traditional" learner.  I need to be active in the process, able to be creative, and engaged in the act of making something meaningful.  That's how I learn best. 

Every one of us learns differently.  And, as Harvard psychologist Howard Gardner states, there are many different ways we learn, involving multiple intelligences.  One of these intelligence types is musical intelligence.  

Recently, I worked with my daughter on a way to spread the sun safety message via music.  My household happens to be chock-full o' musicians, and therefore music is a huge part of our everyday life.  My thoughts, when grappling with the challenge of how to reach our children in terms of melanoma awareness, gravitated right to...song!  

Let's create a song...something catchy...something simple...something that others can learn, share, and enjoy.  Let's make this engaging and interactive for those we are trying to reach.  And so, my daughter and I worked to compile lyrics to the cup song (from Pitch Perfect, the movie).  Now, I know I will never be able to learn how to do the cup rhythm part...as that is NOT how my brain works, but, I can tell you that I have not stopped singing this song (much to my husband's dismay).

Check it out...

My daughter's friend (a TEEN!)was beyond thrilled to participate in this endeavor..and now she too is singing this song all over the place!  If this type of song is not your cup of tea, a punk version is coming soon from my son's band, The Hissy Fits (also TEENS!).  Yup!

We must think in terms of casting the widest net possible, when it comes to educating young people about practicing safe sun.  Reaching them all feels like a daunting task, but if each of us uses our talents to create ways to engage youngsters, encompassing as many learning modalities as we can, we are bound to spread the message.

Respect the Rays has created an "event" on Facebook to get as many people as possible singing this Respect the Rays cup song message. On Wednesday, February 6th, Sing It! will take place!  Our hope is that all across the globe, we can all sing out to teach!  Go to the Sing It! event page and sign up to "attend"...share the event...learn the lyrics...and spread awareness!


  1. This is such a creative idea! I'll be participating!

    1. Thank you, Katie! I'm so excited you will be singing!!! Feel free to invite others to join in and spread awareness!

  2. Thank you, Katie! I'm so excited you will be singing!!! Feel free to invite others to join in and spread awareness!

  3. I love this! I, too, am a teacher. I'm not sure if I ever shared that with you. Love what you are doing! Can't wait to participate!

    1. Thank you!!! I did not know you are a teacher! MORE in common :) Thank you for posting the link to the song on Facebook! Sing it LOUD! xo