This song-based activity lesson plan for English language teaching features the song “You Can’t Stop the Girl” by Bebe Rexha and its official music video. Students talk about quotes related to women, listen to the song, use a word cloud to rewrite the lyrics, do an exercise based on Cambridge English: First (FCE) Use of English part 2 with the lyrics, watch the music video, and write a paragraph based on the song.
Language level: B1 and above Learner type: All ages Skills: speaking, reading, listening and writing Topic: Women empowerment Language: Vocabulary related to expressing and justifying opinions, agreeing and/or disagreeing and speculating Materials: Youtube video, worksheets and mp3 file Duration: 1 hour - 1h 30 min Downloadable materials: instructions.pdf; Word Cloud slide; Use of English worksheet.pdf, song mp3
PART 1 – WARM-UP – QUOTES
Project/ show the quotes below. Have your students work in pairs to talk about them for a couple of minutes, in the end they must decide which one is their favorite, explain why, and then share their opinions with the whole class.
“Women are nothing but machines for producing children” | Napoleon Bonaparte
“You educate a man; you educate a man. You educate a woman; you educate a generation”. | Brigham Young
“I hope the fathers and mothers of little girls will look at them and say ‘yes, women can.’ | Dilma Rousseff
Tell students they are going to listen to a song. They must pay attention to the lyrics and try to get the message the singer is trying to convey.
Play the mp3 file (downloadable materials).
After listening to the song, have them paired again to share their findings and say if they think any of the quotes from step 1 have any connection to the song and how.
Have them share with the whole class.
OBS: as each pair shares their ideas, ask other students if they agree/disagree, and also what they think about those ideas. This is to get them familiarized to the speaking task they are supposed to do in the Cambridge English: First (FCE) and First for Schools paper four (Speaking), part 4. According to the Cambridge English: First (FCE) handbook, “The focus is on expressing and justifying opinions, agreeing and/or disagreeing and speculating”.
PART 2 – WORD CLOUD AND WORKSHEET
Project/show the word cloud slide (downloadable materials) with the lyrics of the song students have just heard. Tell them they represent the most used words in the song and that the bigger words represent the most used words. Give them some time to read the words – help them with unknown vocabulary.
Leave the word cloud on the board and tell your students they are going to use it to write down the lyrics of the song. Play the song again, and then give them some time to write down the lyrics using the word cloud. This can be done in pairs.Assign 10 minutes for this task.
When the time’s up, tell students to put aside their written work (it’s going to be used later), and hand out the Use of English part 2 worksheet. It has the lyrics of the song in the same style of the Cambridge English: First (FCE) and First for Schools paper 1 (Reading and Use of English), part 2.
Give them some time to do it individually (about 5 to 7 minutes).
OBS: ‘tryna’ in the song means ‘trying to”
Play the song again so they can check their work. Write the answers on the board.
Answers:  off  can’t  like the set make here right
Have your students compare their version of the lyrics with the real one, and share their differences with the class.
PART 3 – MUSIC VIDEO
Tell your students they are going to watch the music video from the song. Ask them what they expect to see in the video and why.
Play the video.
Have students work in small groups to share what they thought of the video. Tell them to think of the quotes they discussed in the beginning and say which one they think the video matches.
The groups then, share their ideas with the whole class. Have a plenary discussion.
If you do not have enough time left for this step, it can be assigned for homework.
Ask students to write a paragraph about the girl the singer mentions in the song. They must use their imagination and the lyrics to answer the following questions:
1 - What is she doing? 2 - Why are they trying to stop her?
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That’s it for this week! I hope this activity is helpful and enjoyable!
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