Song Pieces! Adding Novelty to ELT

plant-949111_640        Image by Thomas Breher from Pixabay   
Introducing a new, fun and original ELT activity, SONG PIECES! containing short song extracts from which students have to listen to specific things in the song lyrics.

In this ELT song activity students work in teams and listen to 10 different short song extracts and have to identify different grammar structures and vocabulary in each one.

Language level: all levels
Learner type: All ages
Skills: listening and writing
Topic: varied
Language and grammar: prepositions, clothes, adjectives, parts of the house, frequency adverbs, comparatives, superlatives, simple past verbs, colors, numbers, will future
Materials: edited mp3 files for the songs used 
Duration: 20 - 30 minutes

Downloadable materials:  instructions; Song Extracts (mp3 files) 


Step 1. Divide students into pairs or trios, and tell them they are going to listen to various extracts of songs and in each one, they have to listen to different things and write them down on a blank sheet of paper.

Step 2. Before playing each extract, say what you want the students to listen to and make sure they know it. In order to do that ask them if they can give you examples of the words they must listen to.

Step 3. Tell them they have 3 chances to try to get the right word. Then, play the first extract 3 times and they write down the answer for number 1.

Step 4. Check what the teams wrote down and assign points. (1 for each right word, if there is more than 1 word in the recording)

Step 5. Repeat steps 2, 3, 4 for the next song extracts. The team with more points, in the end, is the winner!

Things to be found in each song extract:
Song 1: prepositions   (answer: behind/ under) 
Song 2: something people wear (answer: shoes)
Song 3: an adjective (answer: easy)
Song 4: parts of a house (answer kitchen/bathroom)
Song 5: an adverb of frequency (answer: never)
Song 6: verbs in the past (answer: said/ started / saw/ knew/ got) variation 1: comparative (answer: older); variation 2: part of the body (answer: shoulder)
Song 7: adverb of frequency (answer: always); variation 1: colors (answer: black / blue);  variation 2: verbs in the future (answer: I will fight/ I will stay)
Song 8: a superlative (answer: best); variation: adjectives (answer: happy / good / crazy)
Song 9: a number (answer seven); variation: verb in the present continuous (answer: I’m driving)
Song 10: a comparative (answer: bigger)

Songs featured in this activity:
Song 01 - Ease My Mind - Ben Platt
Lyrics key: Darling, only you can ease my mind
Help me leave these lonely thoughts behind
When they pull me under, and I can feel my sanity start to unwind
Darling, only you can ease my mind

Song 02 - Not giving In - Tom Walker
Lyrics key: I don't pretend to understand
What it's like, stood in your shoes
But I would try them on for you
'Cause I hate to see you fade away
On the corner where you lay
Beggin' passers-by for change

Song 03 - Someone you loved - Lewis Capaldi
Lyrics key: I need somebody to heal
Somebody to know
Somebody to have
Somebody to hold
It's easy to say
But it's never the same
I guess I kinda liked the way you numbed all the pain

Song 04 - Let me down slowly - Alec Benjamin
Lyrics key: This night is cold in the kingdom
I can feel you fade away
From the kitchen to the bathroom sink and
Your steps keep me awake
Don't cut me down, throw me out, leave me here to waste
I once was a man with dignity and grace
Now I'm slipping through the cracks of your cold embrace
So please

Song 05 - After You - Meghan Trainor
Lyrics key: Won't be anybody after you
And even if one day, our time is through
Won't be anybody after you
After you
I'll never find another lover after you
If you have to go, be my ghost
Hope you haunt my dreams

Song 06 - Fire on Fire - Sam Smith
Lyrics key: My mother said I'm too romantic
She said, "You're dancing in the movies"
I almost started to believe her
Then I saw you and I knew
Maybe it's 'cause I got a little bit older
Maybe it's all that I've been through
I'd like to think it's how you lean on my shoulder
And how I see myself with you

Song 07 - Don’t give up on me - Andy Grammar
Lyrics key: I will fight
I will fight for you
I always do until my heart
Is black and blue
And I will stay
I will stay with you

Song 8 - Thick and Thin - Lany
Lyrics key: What are you thinking?
You were happy last weekend
All the good times
How'd you forget?
I was your best friend, yeah
Remember when you said
You could see your whole life with me baby
Now you got me thinking that I'm crazy

Song 09 - Seven Minutes - Dean Lewis
Lyrics key: It doesn't seem that long but my whole world has changed
It's in all the little things, when you smile, now it stings
It's been seven minutes since I've lost the girl of my dreams
It's been half an hour now since I dropped you home
And I'm driving past the places we both know
Past the bar where we first kissed
And that movie that we missed
'Cause we were hanging out in the parking lot

Song 10 - Got it in You - Banners
Lyrics key: You gave all that sweat and blood,
Now you think you're gonna drown
You can't tell that you're bigger
Than the sea that you're sinking in
And you don't know what you
Got but you got it at your fingertips

That’s it for this week! I hope you all enjoy this new activity! 
Happy teaching!  :) 





















Beautiful Life – Now United

beautiful life post


This ELT song activity is based on the song Beautiful Life (Now United) and its official music video. Students talk about countries and do a matching exercise with flags, watch a video, do a word search exercise, listen to the song, do a listening exercise with the lyrics, and write an email.

Language level: Basic (A2) and above
Learner type: All ages
Skills: speaking, reading, listening and writing
Topic: Countries
Language: Vocabulary related to countries, expressing opinions and writing e-mails
Materials: Youtube videos, worksheets and mp3 file
Duration: 1 hour - 1h 30 min

Downloadable materials:  instructions; Country flags worksheet; Lyrics worksheet; song mp3

Part 1 – Warm-up – Intro

Step 1. Ask students if they know a group called “Now United” and if so, ask them to say what makes this group unique.

If nobody knows or if they do not have much information about it, read/ project this piece of news about them:

Now United is an international co-ed group with 14 different singers and dancers from 14 different countries. The group was formed by Simon Fuller in mid-2016 and is led by XIX Entertainment. They officially debuted in 2018. More information about the band here 

Step 2. Country flag worksheet. Hand out the worksheet and have students work in pairs to match the countries and the flags. (5 min) When they’re done, play the meet Now United video so they can check their work.

Answer key:
Brazil (5) Finland (3) Mexico (8)
The Philippines (1) Canada (7) India (13) 
Senegal (10) China (14) Germany (6)
South Korea (12) The UK ( 9) Russia (2)
Japan (11) The USA (4)

PART 2 – Reading + Listening (Lyrics Worksheet)

Step 3. Hand out the lyrics worksheet. It has 2 exercises: 1- word search and 2 – listen to the song and fill the gaps with the words found.

Step 4. Have a competition to see who can find all the words first!

Step 5. After everybody has found the words, tell students to turn their worksheets with the page down, because they are going to watch the music video for “Beautiful Life”, and while they watch, they must try to identify the words they found in exercise one.

Step 6. Have students tell you if they could identify some of the words in the song while watching the video.

Step 7. Exercise 2. Play the song and have students complete the gaps with the words from exercise 1. Check answers.

Answer key:
[1] stars [2] glad  [3] sky [4] paradise [5] breath [6] fire [7] diamond [8] colors [9] world [10] dream [11] hands  

PART 3 Speaking & Writing (an Email)

Step 8. Ask students to look at the Country Flag worksheet again. Ask them if they have ever been to any of those countries. Get some answers, ask some follow-up questions (When, what did you think of it, etc)

Step 9. In pairs, students talk about which of those countries they would like to visit and why. After some time, have the pairs share their answers with the whole class.

Step 10. (writing – it could be assigned as homework if time does not allow it to be done in class)

Tell students to write an email to one of the members of Now United and:
.Say where they are from and mention some interesting facts about it;
.Tell the member of the band they would like to visit their country and ask some questions about it (ex: about the food, customs, history, etc)

That’s it for this week! I hope this activity is helpful and enjoyable!

Happy teaching!  🙂

Shallow – Lady Gaga (Oscar Awards 2019)


This is an ELT video and song activity based on Lady Gaga’s Acceptance Speech for Best Original Song at the 2019 Oscar Awards and also the performance of the winning song “Shallow”, by Bradley Cooper and Gaga herself, in which students talk about winning; find common ideas connecting those quotes about winning and the message in Gaga’s speech; watch the video and do a listening exercise, and finally, read the lyrics and find mistakes in verb forms.

Language level: Pre-Intermediate (B1) and above
Learner type: All ages
Skills: speaking, reading & listening
Topic: Winning
Language: Vocabulary related to winning, expressions to agree, disagree and express opinions
Materials:  Acceptance Speech video.mp4 , Acceptance Speech Worksheet, Shallow worksheet and Shallow performance youtube video
Duration: 1h –  1h 30 min

Downloadable materials:  instructions; Acceptance Speech video.mp4 , Acceptance Speech Worksheet, Shallow worksheet


Part 1. QUOTES

Warm-up. Ask students when the last time they won something was. Have students share they’re winning moments with the whole class

Step 1. Have students read the quotes below (project or write them on the board), choose their favorite and share their ideas with a partner. They have to explain their reasons. (give them 2 to 5 minutes)


  1. “When you win, say nothing. When you lose, say less.” Paul Brown
  2. “There are more important things in life than winning or losing a game.”Lionel Messi
  3. “The person that said winning isn’t everything, never won anything. Mia Hamm
  4. “You can’t win unless you learn how to lose.” Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
  5. “Winning isn’t getting ahead of others. It’s getting ahead of yourself.” Roger Staubach

Step 2. The pairs share their favorites with the whole class. Have a plenary discussion. Have a vote for the best quote. (optional)


Step 3. Tell them they are going to watch Lady Gaga winning the 2019 Oscar for Best Original Song. After watching it, ask them to work in small groups and discuss what she said about winning and which of the quotes is most similar to what she said in the video. Play the video again, if necessary.

Step 4. Have the groups share their conclusions, and check if they got to the same conclusion.

Part 3. LISTENING ACTIVITY (Acceptance Speech worksheet)

Step 5. Give out the Acceptance speech worksheet. Have the students listen to the video again and write down the missing parts. Play it 2x. Have them check in pairs. Them play the video one more time and pause at the gaps to check as a class.

Answer key: 1. Wonderful 2. Person  3. My sister 4.on the planet 5.believing 6. Hard work   7.Have a dream 8. Brave 9. Acts

Part 4: SONG ACTIVITY (video and lyrics)

Step 6. Tell students they are going to watch Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga’s performance of Shallow at the Oscars. Ask them what they understood about the meaning of the song.

Step 7. Give out the Shallow Worksheet. Tell students to read it find 5 wrong verbs in the lyrics. After some time, play the song so they can check.

Answer key:

1- Say - tell me somethin’ girl  2Or do you needs - need   3 - And in the bad times I fearing fear  4 - Aren’t you tired tryin’ to filled fill that void?  5 - I’ll never to meet the ground

That’s it for this week! I hope your students enjoy the activities!

Happy teaching! 🙂

Come Out and Play – Billie Eilish


This is an ELT video and song activity based on the Apple ad  Holiday - Share Your Gifts featuring Billie Eilish’s song Come out and Play and also the video ‘Holiday - how I create music on IMac and IPhone’, in which students talk about talents; find common ideas connecting quotes about talent and sharing; watch a video ad and play a memory game with questions about it; do a listening exercise with another video in which the singer talks about creating music; listen to the song and put the lyrics in order

Language level: Pre-Intermediate (B1) and above

Learner type: All ages

Skills: speaking, reading & listening

Topics: talent and music

Language: Vocabulary related to talent and skills, expressions to agree, disagree and express opinions

Materials: Youtube videos, video activity Worksheet, cut-out song lyrics worksheet and mp3 file

Duration: 1h -  1h 30 min 

Downloadable materials:  instructions; worksheet part 3; song mp3; cut-out song slips part 4


Part 1 – Warm Up / Quotes

Step 1. Play hangman with the word 'talent'.
Write on the board T ___ ___ ___ ___ ___

Step 2. After the game, ask students to share some of the talents they have (whole class)

Step 3. Write or project the following quotes on the board:

1- “The more you share, the more you receive to share.” Lailah Gifty Akita
2- “Don’t hide yourself. Stand up, keep your head high, and show them what you got!” Joe Mari Fadrigalan
3- “The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away”
Pablo Picasso

step 4. Ask students to read them and (individual task) think about their meaning carefully and find out if there is a connection between the quotes, and what it is.

Step 5. After 1 or 2 min, have students share their ideas in pairs (2 min)

Step 6. Have the pairs express their opinions to class and ask if the other students agree/disagree and why

Part 2 – Apple Ad video -Holiday Share your gifts

Step 7. Tell students they are going to watch a video. They should pay attention to the story to answer some “memory” game questions about it (divide the class into pairs or trios).

Memory Game Questions: 1. what color sweater was the girl wearing in the first scene of the video? (Red) 2. What 7-letter word is written on her laptop cover? (Supreme) 3. What is her occupation (baker) 4. What color is her uniform at her job? (Green) 5. What did she draw on the bus window? (Glasses) 6. What color is the box she keeps her paper sheets in? (Green) 7. What musical instrument does she have? (A piano)

Part 3 – Video 2:  How I Create Music on iMac and iPhone ft. Billie Eilish


Students watch the video and answer the question:
What does Billie Eilish compare music to? (emotion)

Step 9.  Hand out the Worksheet - part 3. Students watch the video again and fill in the gaps in the transcript. Play the video twice. And check the answers as a class. Answer key: Billie: I'm Billie Eilish. Finneas: I'm Finneas. Billie: And this is how we create a song from scratch. Music is emotion. I feel like, every song, I know, sounds like an emotion I've felt. it's like how could I make a song that sounds like the way that this light looks. I think that's really weird to think about, but it's more interesting for me that way. Like, it doesn't have to rhyme; it doesn't have to make sense; ['cause] it's just words. Sometimes I need to create something out of it. Finneas: Once we understand the narrative, [that] we can flesh out a song behind it. First guitar, then vocals, then that 808 sort of... Logic is really easy to have fun in and I think having fun in a program is how you get better. Billie: I think you have to force yourself sometimes. just put it out there, and if it flops, it flops. But who cares? At least you're doing what you want to be doing.

Part 4 (extra) lyrics

The Lyrics were divided in 12 slips of paper (print, cut out and laminate)
Step 10. Divide students into groups of 4 (or fewer students per group, depending on the number of students) and give 1 set of cut out lyrics four group.
Students listen and put the lyrics in order
Play the song as many times as necessary. The first team to get the lyrics in the right order wins!

Answer KEY (correct order):
10 - 09 - 11 -12 -01- 03- 08- 06- 05- 04- 02- 07

That’s it for this week and for 2018!

We’ll be back in January to continue providing free high quality ELT song activities for teachers all over the world!

I hope you all have wonderful holiday celebrations, and that in 2019, you have the wisdom and energy to fulfill cherished dreams and achieve amazing goals!



No Matter What – Calum Scott


This ELT song activity is based on the song No Matter What by Calum Scott  and the official music video. Students talk about parent and children relationships, review irregular verbs and the Simple Past tense, watch an edited video, Write a narrative based on the video, listen to the song and do a listening exercise with the lyrics

Language level: Pre-Intermediate (B1) and above

Learner type: All ages

Skills: speaking, writing & listening

Topic: relationships

Language: Vocabulary related to family relationships, expressions to agree, disagree and express opinions

Materials: A vimeo edited video, youtube link for the official video, song mp3 file and song activity Worksheet

Duration: 1 hour

Downloadable materials: instructions; song mp3; song worksheet 

Part 1 – warm up / review of irregular verbs

Step1.  Students write down as many irregular verbs as they can remember in 2 min in a sheet of paper. Tell them to write the verbs in their infinitive form

Step 2. Divide the class in two. If there is an odd number, choose the most extroverted student to come to the board and be your assistant,

Step3. Group work.
In their teams, students compile a final list of verbs with all the irregular verbs they remembered.

Step 4. Tell them the team with more correct irregular verbs on the lists will be the winner. Give them an extra 30s to add more verbs to the list.

Step 5. When the time’s up. (Nobody is allowed to add any more verbs to the list at this point. Make sure students know the teams are going to be penalized and lose points for cheating!  Ask teams to count how many verbs they’ve found and tell the assistant.

Step 6. Have your assistant draw a line in the center of the board, and write A/B on each side of it, with the number of verbs each team got.

Step 7. Team A starts telling the assistant all the verbs in their lists, and he/she writes them on their correspondent side of the board. (No corrections at this time)

Step 8. Team B does the same thing, omitting the verbs already in team A’s list. (The teacher checks the lists, to avoid cheating)

Step 9. Class work. The teacher goes over each verb, and with the help of the class, checks if the verbs are really irregular and ask random students to give their correspondent simple past forms, and write them in front of the verbs. Students copy them, as they are going to use them later.
After recounting the valid verbs, the teacher awards points (for verbs in the 2 lists, the teams get 5 points, for original verbs, they get 10) the team with more points is the winner!

Part 2 

Edited video from the music video for “no matter what” – (speaking/writing)

Step 9. Students watch the modified video (obs: the music heard in this video is instrumental and it is not the original song) 

Step 10. In pairs students talk about the following questions: .

  1. The video shows 3 important moments in the boy’s life. Talk about what happened in these 3 moments.
  2. How did he deal with those situations? Who helped him? How?
  3. Which of the following quotes best applies to the video? why?
a) "A mother is a woman who shows you the light when you just see the dark." Grimaldos Robin 

b) "A mother understands what a child does not say." unknown

c) "Simply having children does not make mothers." John A. Shedd

Step 11. The pairs share their answers and the teacher asks other pairs if they agree/disagree and why. Students express their opinions and have a mini discussion

Step 12. Students rewatch the video. Tell them to pay attention to the details because they are going to rewrite the story.

Step 13. Give the pairs 10 min to write a paragraph with the story of the video. Tell them to include as many verbs from part 1 in the paragraph as possible.

Step 14, students share their paragraphs
Step 15. Students watch the official music video.

Step 16. In pairs. After they watch the video, the teacher asks the students why they think the boy was bullied in the second part of the video (answers as a class)

Part 3 the lyrics – listening

Step 17.Individual task.
Students receive the song worksheet, listen to the song and fill in the gaps with the verbs in the past
Step 18  play the song again and stop at each gap to check.

Answer key:

  1. Was   2. Didn’t understand  3. Took  4. Said 5. Got  6. Came  7. Ran  8. Saw  9 Had 10. looked

That’s it for this week!
I hope this ELT activity can help your classes and add value to your work!

Happy teaching!



Be Fluent in LIFE

Being fluent in English is an important goal that many people in the world struggle to achieve. However, there is another kind of fluency which is of much greater importance: being able to speak the language of your own soul. Being fluent in LIFE.

What does that mean?

Speaking the language of your own soul is finding out your true and unique talents. It is finding out the way they can be best expressed in this world, and most importantly, ACTING on them.

How can you start this journey to life fluency?

With small steps, just like a child starts with a few words, but surely, steadily, act on it! Your actions, even the smallest ones, will bring results. REAP them with pride. Be proud like a child in showing their parents that first written composition, or that first good grade in an oral presentation.

Be proud of your smallest results, for they are proof of your ever growing fluency in the nuances of life. Also, multiply them by paying attention and learning, every day and in every way, how to speak your own heart accurately. 

Cherish the language of your own soul and speak it, not only with your own words, but also with your actions, for actions speak much louder, and the louder they speak, the more likeminded people they attract to your life, so you can become stronger, wiser, better and consequently, attract more results.

Being fluent in your LIFE means knowing how your heart truly feels, and expressing it clearly and gracefully through your ready and smooth actions, so that the universe can understand, and respond to your wishes and desires.

Aim to be fluent not only in English, but also in the language of your own SOUL. There is no telling how far you can go or how many people’s lives you can change this way!

That’s it for this week.
I hope these ideas can help you in your life!
Happy teaching! 🤓

Watch & Catch!

watch catch pic

Introducing a new, fun and original ELT video activity – WATCH & CATCH –  containing excerpts from music videos for current songs, in which students have to ‘catch’ visuals in the video excerpts, as well as words in the lyrics of the songs.

Description:  In this activity, students work in teams to identify, visually and audibly,  grammar and/or vocabulary words in the music video and lyrics. as a competition; they are awarded points for each right item identified. 
Language level: A2+ and above     
Learner type: All ages
Skills: listening, writing
Topic: varied
Language and grammar: common objects, animals, parts of the body, food, numbers, basic prepositions, adverbs of frequency, adjectives,
Materials: vimeo video  and a blank sheet of paper for each group (to write down their answers)
Duration: 20 -30 min
Downloadable materials: none


Step 1. Tell students they are going to watch a video with 5 excerpts from different music videos, and in each excerpt they have to identify – catch – something visual (in the video ie. find a number or an animal), and also listen to something in the lyrics: ie listen to adjectives.  

There are 5 video excerpts, and before each one, there are instructions to what the students are supposed to catch. The excerpts are recorded 3 times in a row, so tell students they have 3 chances to find what is asked. For each right item, the teams get one point. The team with more points wins!

Step 2. Divide the teams. make sure each one has a blank sheet of paper to write their answers down.

Step 3. Play the video (pause it on each video instruction and make sure to review the things they’re supposed to see or find before they watch it. For example: ask students if they remember adverbs of frequency and ask them to give examples.

Step 4. To award the points, before playing the next video, pause, and walk around the groups awarding the points. (read their answers and write the number of points on their sheet)

AnswersVideo 01Find: a means of communication (TV) - Listen to: something you use in school (a number) 
Video 02Find: an animal (tiger) - Listen to: parts of the body (hands / heart) 
Video 03Find: a number (98) - Listen to: prepositions (in / out)  
Video 04Find: something sweet (ice cream) - Listen to: a frequency adverb (never) 
Video 05Find: something connected to religion (crosses on necklaces) - Listen to: adjectives (weak, shy, sweet)
Songs featured in this ELT video activity: 
video 01: Trust My Lonely (Alessia Cara); 
video 02: Big Love (the Black Eyed Peas); 
video 03: Just Got Paid (Sigala, Meghan Trainor, Ella Eyre); 
video 04: Shallow (Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper); 
video 05: Woman Like Me (Little Mix)

That’s it for today! I hope you enjoy this ELT video/song activity.