Music ed book review: “Top 40 Fun Facts: Rock ‘n’ Roll”

If you’re calling in a sub unexpectedly and need plans for a non-music person or need a filler activity to keep some students busy, you’ll really like this book. Tom Anderson’s Top 40 Fun Facts: Rock ‘n’ Roll is full of worksheets to use in your elementary to early middle school classroom.


What I like:

The best and most important thing to consider with the $25 price tag is that each activity is fully reproducible. Students can navigate each of the activities on their own without teacher help. It is designed “for substitutes, field trips, and other days when you can’t use your regular curriculum.”

What I don’t like:

Students are going to come away from these activities with very little practical knowledge of popular music. Only a handful of the worksheets provide relevant information while the rest are simple word searches, jumbles, and fill-in-the-blanks. The activities are busy work and $25 is a lot to pay for busy work.


I haven’t found much use for this book since I ordered it. When I have sub plans, I like them to be curricular and since these assignments generally cover wide periods of time, they aren’t focused enough to reinforce what I am teaching in that my current unit. In fact, I’ve only photocopied one assignment from the book in the 18 months it’s been in my library.

You can buy it directly from Hal Leonard as it’s not available on Amazon.

images (1) @MattWarrenMusic

Music ed book review: “Top 40 Fun Facts: Rock ‘n’ Roll”

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