Mother’s Day Flashback: Losing My Religion

losing

Description:
This song-based activity lesson plan for English language teaching features “Losing My Religion” by REM, and its official music video. Students review ways of expressing opinions, agreeing and disagreeing, talk about the meaning of the song, read and discuss people’s opinions about it, watch the music video, and talk about its connection with the lyrics

Language level: intermediate (B1+) and above
Learner type: All ages
Skills: speaking (Cambridge English First Exam - FCE preparation), and reading.
Topic: song meaning and sharing opinions in Cambridge exams 
Language: Vocabulary related to opinions, agreeing, disagreeing, and interaction
Materials: Youtube video, worksheets, and mp3 file
Duration: 1 hour - 1h 30min
Downloadable materials:  instructions; Lyrics worksheet+ opinions; song mp3


PART 1 – WARM-UP/REVIEW

Step 1.

Review ways of expressing opinions in part 4 of the speaking paper for the Cambridge English First Exam (FCE) by asking students to give you examples. Write them on the board, and also add the following: 

What I think is that…    In my (honest/personal) opinion…      It’s clear to me that…

One thing I’m sure of is…  I (strongly) believe that…

Step 2.

Review ways of agreeing and disagreeing. Follow the same as step 1, and also write the following on the board:

That’s right!       I agree.      I couldn’t agree with you more!       I couldn’t have said it better myself

I partially agree with you.    I’m not sure about that. That’s a good point, but…

Step 3.

Tell students they are going to practice these expressions in pairs. Remind them to always give reasons to support their answers.

Give them the following statement to talk about and say what they think and if they agree or disagree and why:

The songs from the past are much better than the ones we have nowadays” and have them discuss if they agree or disagree with it in pairs. Give them about 2 min, and have the pairs share with the whole class.

PART 2 – SONG LYRICS AND OPINIONS

Step 4.

Tell your students they are going to work with an old song, titled “Losing My Religion” by REM, from the Grammy-awarded album OUT OF TIME, and hand out only the first part with the song lyrics (cut out the opinions, they are to be used in step 7).

Step 5.

Have students read the lyrics (help out with the vocabulary) and think about the message the singer is trying to convey.

Step 6.

Divide students into small groups, to discuss their ideas and come up with a conclusion about the meaning of the song. After some time, play the song as the students read it in their worksheets.

Have the groups share their opinions. (make sure they are using the expressions reviewed/learned in part 1)

Step 7.

Hand out the second part of the worksheet with the opinions about the meaning of the song. Tell your students they were taken from the Internet, and that they are real opinions.

Step 8.

Give students time to read the opinions in the worksheet. Help with any vocabulary doubts that come up. Then, tell students to choose their favorite and least favorite opinion, and share in pairs. Remind them to always give reasons to support their opinions.

Have the pairs share with the whole class.

PART 3  MUSIC VIDEO

Step 9.

Tell your students that in part 3 and 4 of the Cambridge Speaking Paper, they receive points for how well they interact with their partners and that they should make sure to react appropriately to what their partner says and also to find ways to involve their partners. A good way to do this is to ask: What do you think about…?  How do you feel about…? Or give your opinion and ask if their partner agrees with what you said.

Step 10.

Tell students they are going to watch the official music video for “Losing My Religion” and after that, they are going to practice interaction.

Step 11.

After watching the video, divide students into trios (and a group of 4, if needed). One student will just pay attention and check if the other two are using varied expressions as they express their opinions about the video, and also if they are interacting well by involving their partners in the conversation and reacting to him/her.

Step 12.

After 2 minutes, they change, and another student will pay attention to the other two discussing the video. After 2 more minutes, the trios share their experiences and opinions with the whole class.

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

Share this to help other teachers, and also check out these great ways to add novelty and fun to your English classes: Song Lottery,  Song Pieces and Watch & Catch!

Happy teaching!  🙂

Broken & Beautiful – Kelly Clarkson

kelly

Description:
This song-based activity lesson plan for English language teaching features the song Broken & Beautiful by Kelly Clarkson and the official music video. Students talk about movies, do a crosswords exercise with words from the lyrics, listen to the song and do a gap-fill listening exercise with the words found in the crosswords

Language level: Basic (A2) and above
Learner type: All ages
Skills: speaking, reading, listening and writing
Topic: Movies
Language: Vocabulary related to movies, expressing opinions
Materials: Youtube video, worksheets pdf, and mp3 file
Duration: 1 hour 
Downloadable materials:  instructions; worksheet; song mp3

PART 1 – Warm-up

Step 1.

Ask students to work in pairs and talk about their favorite movie. After some time, students share with the whole class.

PART 2 – Music Video

Step 2.

Tell students they are going to watch the music video for the song they are going to work with: Broken and Beautiful. Ask them if they know the song, if they do not, ask them what kind of song they think it’s going to be based on the title (eg. slow, fast, happy, sad), and also what things they expect to see in the video, and have them discuss their guesses in small groups.

Step 3.

Have the groups share their guesses and play the video

Step 4.

Ask students what they thought of the video. Tell them it is part of the soundtrack of a new movie called Ugly Dolls, which will be on theaters on May 3, 2019. Check out the movie site here

PART 3  Worksheet

Step 5. Hand out the worksheet. The exercise one is a crossword, you can have a competition to see who can solve it first!

Answer key

SOLUÇAO

Step 6. Exercise two. Students listen to the song and fill the blanks with the words they found in exercise one.

Answer key 
free [1] pride [2] help [3] strong [4] phenomenal [5] hold [6] underneath [7] ocean [8] emotion [9] fly [10] lies [11] tired [12]

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

Share this to help other teachers, and also check out these great ways to add novelty and fun to your classes: Song LotterySong Pieces and Watch & Catch!

Happy teaching!  🙂

Can We Pretend – P!nk feat. Cash Cash

can we pretend

Description:
This song-based activity lesson plan for English language teaching features the song ‘Can We Pretend” by P!nk feat. Cash Cash and its Lyric video. Students answer Have You Ever questions with Wheeldecide.com, do a matching exercise with vowel sounds and diphthongs, listen to the song and put the words in order.

Language level: Pre-intermediate (A2+ - B1) and above
Learner type: All ages
Skills: speaking, reading, listening, pronunciation (vowel sounds and diphthongs)
Topic: Experiences and Pretense
Language and Grammar: Vocabulary related to experiences, Present Perfect tense
Materials: Youtube video, worksheet pdf and mp3 file
Duration: 1 hour 
Downloadable materials:  instructions; Vowel sound worksheet; song mp3

PART 1 – Warm Up + Have you ever…? (Is it real or just pretending?)

Important information:

This warm-up uses WheelDecide.com a free online spinner tool that allows you to create your own digital wheels for decision-making – more info here. However, this can be substituted. (See step 2.).

The teacher must also have a list of possible Have you ever questions and follow-up questions in hand.

Example questions:
– Have you ever been on TV? When? Why?
– Have you ever broken a bone? How did it happen?
– Have you ever ridden a horse or another animal? give us details
– Have you ever forgotten someone’s birthday? What happened?
– Have you ever received a gift that you did not like? What was it?
– Have you ever fallen asleep in class or at work? Did you get in trouble because of if?
– Have you ever been in a car accident? How did it happen?
– Have you ever tried an extreme sport? How did you feel?

Step 1.

A student comes to the board. Explain to him/her he/she is going to answer a question according to what the wheel dictates! If the wheel says yes, he/she has to pretend they really did that activity and invent details. Tell them to do their best to be convincing. After the student answers, the class is going to vote if it was real or just pretense!

Step 2.

The teacher asks a Have you ever question and with the help of a magic pen or the mouse, the student spins this wheel. (in our school we use a white board with a projector connected to a computer with Internet access).  The options are just YES or NO. OBS:  As an alternative to wheeldecide.com, you can use a die (even numbers meaning yes, odd numbers, no), or a coin (heads means yes, tails means no).

Step 3.

The student answers the question according to the wheeldecide (or coin/die) and the teacher then asks follow-up questions (only if the answer was ‘yes’.).

Step 4.

After the student answers, the teacher asks the rest of the class if they think the student was telling the truth or just pretending.

Step 5.

The student says if it was true or just pretense.

Step 6.

Have another student come to the front to answer another question according to the wheel (or die/coin). This can go on for about 15 – 20 min. or as long as it is still fun for the students to do it!

PART 2 –  Vowel Sounds & Diphthongs Worksheet

Step 7.

Hand out the worksheet and quickly review the vowel sounds and diphthongs. Show the symbols on the table and have students repeat the model words.

Tell students that they are going to work with 10 words from the song “Can We Pretend” by Pink and Cash Cash. Their task is to put the words in the box in their appropriate places in the phonetic table:

Answer key exercise A

(see) /iː/   feeling
(go) /əʊ/ nowhere
(my)   /ɑɪ/ sometimes
(say)          /eɪ/ conversations
(saw) /ɔː/   walked
(cat)   /æ/ daddy
(sit) /ɪ/ pictures  

lips

miss

(two) /uː/ dudes

PART 3 – Listening

Step 8.

After checking the answers, divide students into small groups. They are going to listen to the song and order the words they worked with in exercise A, according to the order they appear in the song.

Step 9. Play the lyric video for students to watch and check their answers

Answer key Exercise B

Conversations ( 1    )
Daddy (  6 )
Dudes ( 10   )
Feeling (  8 )
Lips (  9 )
Miss ( 7    )
Nowhere (  3 )
Pictures (  2 )
Sometimes  ( 4 )
Walked (  5 )

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

Happy teaching!  🙂

Better Man – Westlife

westlife still

Description:

This short and fun song-based activity for English language teaching features the song “Better Man” by Westlife. Students talk about Music, work in small groups, listen to the song and order a set of words according to the order they are sung. As an optional extension (part 3), students watch the music video and do a speaking exercise.

Language level: Basic (A2) and above
Learner type: All ages
Skills: Listening, group interaction, collaboration, teamwork
Topic: Music, simple vocabulary
Language: group interaction
Materials: cut-out worksheet pdf, and mp3 file (youtube video - optional)
Duration: 20 - 30 min (without part 3)
Downloadable materials:  instructions;  cut out worksheet; song mp3

PART 1 – Warm-up – Intro

Step 1. Ask students if they have heard of the band Westlife. They have reunited after a long time and have launched a song written by Ed Sheeran.  Get a general count of how many students know Westlife, and who likes the band as well as Ed Sheeran. Tell them they are going to work with one of the songs he wrote for the band.

PART 2 Word Order Competition

Step 2. Tell students they are going to work with a song in a different way.

Step 3. Divide the class into trios (or groups of four, depending on the number of students)

Step 4. Have students sit in a circle, and hand out the word sets you printed, cut and paste in advance (one per group). Students should spread them in the middle of their circle so they can be easily sorted out by any member of the team during the activity

Step 5. Explain the activity to the groups. As they listen to the song the first time, they should put the words in the order they are sung. OBS. tell them there is one extra word which is not in the song. If any group identifies it right, they can get an extra point as a bonus!

Step 6 When the song is over, play it the second time, they should check their work, and make changes to the order of the words if they want to. (sometimes a third play may be necessary for a final check before they show you their word order)

Step 7 check the word order of the groups. The one closest to the right order wins.

RIGHT ORDER:
01 - MOVIE  02 - CRAZY 03 - WHY  04 - THINGS  05- ANGEL  06 - EVERYONE 07 - DREAMS  08 - DOWN 09 - MOUTH  10 - FEEL
MAKE (the extra word for the extra bonus point)

PART 3  Youtube Video (optional)

Step 8. Tell students they are going to watch the music video for “better man” and they must pay attention to what happens in the video.

Step 9.  In pairs, students talk about what they understood from the story and later share with the class.

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

Share this to help other teachers, and also check out these great ways to add novelty and fun to your classes: Song LotterySong Pieces and Watch & Catch!

Happy teaching!  🙂

Song Lottery & Writing Emails

SASHA

Description:

This ELT song activity is based on the song “Older” by Sasha Sloan and its official music video. Students talk about family, play a song lottery game, watch a video and write an email.

Language level: B1 and above
Learner type: All ages
Skills: speaking, reading, listening and writing
Topic: family
Language: Vocabulary related to family, expressing opinions and writing e-mails
Materials: Youtube video, worksheet pdf, and mp3 file
Duration: 1 hour - 1h 30 min

Downloadable materials:  instructions; song lottery worksheet; song mp3

PART 1 – A PERFECT FAMILY? (Pairwork discussion)

Step 1. Start by asking the whole class:

Is there such a thing as a ‘perfect” family? Does this exist? What would a perfect family be for you?

Have students discuss their ideas in pairs (about 2 min) and then share the answers with the whole class, have everybody participate by asking other students if they agree/disagree and why.

PART 2 – SONG LOTTERY (reading)

Step 2. Tell your students they are going to work with a song in which the singer sings about her family problems, and that in the first part of this activity they are going to play a “song lottery”! In this lottery, instead of choosing numbers, they are going to choose the words they think the singer will sing.

Step 3. Hand out the song lottery worksheet and give the students some time to choose their ‘winning words”. They should fill out their lottery tickets and cut them out to give you before you play the song to check the winner (s) of the lottery.

Step 4. After everybody has handed you their tickets, play the song and students check if their choices were the right one. The winner of the lottery is the one who guessed all the words right! (you can stipulate a prize for the winner eg. a chocolate candy bar, candy, etc. If nobody wins, you can tell them the prize will be accumulated for the next song lottery in one future class!

ANSWER KEY (winning words)

01. screamed 02. right 03. swore 04. a kid 05. the more 06. heroes 07. loving 08. mad 09. better 10 wonder

PART 3 EMAIL FEELINGS (writing)

Step 5. (whole class) Ask students to tell you what they think the music video for the song is going to be like. Get some answers, then show them the music video for “older” by Sasha Sloan

Step 6. Ask the students if the video was the way they imagined and tell you what they thought about it.

Step 7. (writing an email) Tell your students to imagine they are the singer and write an email to her parents translating the feelings in the song into written words.

Variation: Students imagine they are the singer’s parents and write an email to her in reaction to the song
That’s it for this week! I hope you all have a fun time using this activity with your students!

Happy teaching! 🙂

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.

Description:
In this song-based activity lesson plan for English language teaching, 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) 

INSTRUCTIONS

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! 
Share this to help other teachers, and also check out this similar activity with video extracts: Watch & Catch!

Happy teaching!  :) 

Beautiful Life – Now United

beautiful life post

Description:

This song-based activity lesson plan for English language teaching features 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 pdf 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!  🙂