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Published on Jul 28, 2007
The Video that Started it All! In 1989 T.H. Culhane, a brand new science teacher at Crenshaw High School in South Central L.A., joined forces with video instructor Phil Kuretski and together with their students they created T.H.'s first "Melodic-Mnemonic" -- a rap song that successfully embedded the Linnean system of classification -- Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus Species -- using rap and melody as the carrier wave for the textbook data that students were expected to memorize. Culhane's "Melodic-Mnemonic" method worked so well that his "at-risk" students were able to successfully compete with "gifted students" and test scores went up on biology exams. For the next near decade Culhane expanded the subject matter he and his students covered using the Melodic-Mnemonic approach. Recently, Culhane has been using the approach with the U.S. State Department's Cultural Affairs program, teaching science workshops in schools in Egypt, Kuwait, Oman, Morrocco, Israel and Palestine.