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!
Happy teaching! 🙂