Song Pieces! Adding Novelty to ELT

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 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) 


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!

This song-based lesson plan is sure to spice up your classes! However, would you like to think, feel and act more creatively on your own to be able to turn ANY song you want into an engaging lesson plan?
HERE are TIME-SAVING ideas that do the heavy work so you can focus on the most important: INSPIRING and MOTIVATING YOUR STUDENTS to learn CREATIVELY!


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


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Happy teaching!  🙂


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