This song-based activity lesson plan for English language teaching features the song Big Love (The Black Eyed Peas) and it does NOT make use of the official music video (some scenes it portrays may be shocking for most students, however, if you consider it suitable for any specific class you have, use it at your own discretion.)
In the activity, students talk about bullying, gun control, smartphones, and war, read and share opinions about those topics, listen to the song, do listening exercises with a worksheet and the lyrics, scan QR codes, read and write a text for homework,
Language level: intermediate (B2) and above
Learner type: All ages
Skills: speaking, listening, reading & writing
Topic: current controversial issues
Language: Vocabulary related to bullying, guns, smartphones, and war, expressions to agree, disagree and express opinions
Materials: cut out opinion + topic sheet + song activity Worksheet pdf – smartphones or other digital devices (tablet, laptop, etc) with a QR code reader app installed. Internet connection, wifi available for part 3.
Duration: 1 hour (or 1h and 30 min if you have time to do step 9 in class + HW)
Preparation for the activity:
Download and print the cut-out opinion/issue sheet; cut out as indicated and laminate it to make the sets. Make 1 copy per pair or trio of students. Download and print the song worksheet. 1 per student.
Step 1. Warm up – WHOLE CLASS:: Write/ project the following issues on the board:
BULLYING – GUN CONTROL – WAR – SMARTPHONES
Ask students if they think there is a connection between the four topics and what it is, or ask them which of the four is the most important for society right now and why. Have a vote and write the number of students in front of the issues on the board. (about 5 minutes)
Step 2. IN PAIRS or TRIOS. Hand out the opinion+issue set, one for each pair/trio of students.
There are 4 pairs of opposite opinions for each of the four issues (bullying, gun control, war, smartphones).
The students’ task is to match the topics with their correspondent opinions.
Step 3. after the pairs or trios have finished matching the opinions and the topics, they are going to talk about the opinions they agree more or disagree and give their reasons. (about 10 minutes – step 1+ step 2)
Step 4. After discussing in pairs/trios, the students share their opinions with the whole class and have a short plenary discussion.
PART 2 – LISTENING ACTIVITY WITH LYRICS
Step 5. Individual task. Hand out the song worksheet. It has two exercises: in exercise one, students have to listen to the song and number the verses, lines of the song as they listen to it.
Answer key exercise 1: 4 b. 2 c. 1 d. 3
Step 6. Individual task. In exercise 2 they have the complete lyrics of the song with 10 words removed. Their task is to listen to the song and fill in the blanks in the song lyrics with the words given.
Answer key exercise 2:
- Leaders 2. Fire 3. Americans 4. Young 5. Hands 6. Hope 7. Life 8. Global 9. Believe 10. Violence
Step 7: Back to their original pairs/trios, the students identify which parts of the song in exercise 1 correspond to the issues they discussed in part 1 (bullying, gun control, war, smartphones) and what opinion the song expresses.
Step 8. They share their opinions with the whole class
PART 3 – READING / WRITING
OBS: If there is no time available in class, steps 9 and 10 can be done for homework and handed in the following class.
Step 9. Students choose the issue they want to read about, scan the correspondent QR code on their worksheet and read an article about that issue on Newsela. This is an excellent Instructional Content Platform that supercharges reading engagement and learning in every subject. Your students will be asked to make a profile there to read the whole article, it is free and fast.
Urls for the articles
Step 10. Homework. Students write a paragraph or two with their opinion about the article they read in the previous step for the following class. (word limit 50 – 80 words)
That’s it for this week! I hope you enjoy this ELT song activity.
Feel free to leave some comments if you wish, and let me know how the activity worked out in your classes.
Happy teaching! 🙂