Teaching with songs: Better Man – Westlife


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.

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.

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! 


SUBSCRIBE to SAF’s FREE MUSIC CHANNEL (Copyright Free Music for Teachers!)



Happy teaching!  🙂

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