Teaching English with Songs: Taylor Swift [a lesson plan for English Language Teaching]


This song-based activity lesson plan for English language teaching features the song “Only the Young” by Taylor Swift and the song lyric video. Students listen to a song extract and talk about feelings related to it, do a listening exercise identifying words from the song, play a song lottery game and watch a lyric video.

Language level: B1 and above
Learner type: All ages
Skills: speaking, reading and listening
Topic: Music and feelings
Language: Vocabulary related to music, expressing opinions and feelings
Materials: Youtube video, worksheet pdf and mp3 file
Duration: 1 hour - 1h 30 min
Downloadable materialsinstructions; Song words worksheet; Song Lottery worksheetsong mp3

Welcome to the Song Activity Factory! Here, we follow the rules of The Creative Jedi Code:

See below for other posts to Teach English Creatively With Songs:


PART 1 – Song Feelings

Step 1

Tell your students you are going to work with a song. (do not tell them which one, neither the singer). Play just approximately 40 seconds (the intro of the song) and in pairs, students talk about the following questions (Write them on the board if necessary): 

What feelings does this song make you feel? Is it a happy or a sad song? Does it make you feel confident or insecure? Excited or bored? Nervous or calm? Optimistic or pessimistic? Explain.

After some time, have the pairs share their answers with the whole class. Ask them if they know the song and the singer.

PART 2- Song Words

Step 2

OBS: print and cut out the song words worksheet in advance – one set for each group. Divide students into small groups. Give each group a set with the 10 song words. 


Tell them they are going to listen to the entire song, and their task is to find out which word is not sung in the song. Play the song twice. Answer: LOVE

Extra optional Challenge: You can also ask students to put the words in the order they hear them

RIGHT ORDER: news – inside – game – time – tv – scared – bad – forget – over 

PART 3 – Song Lottery

Step 3. Tell your students that they are going to play a “song lottery”! In this lottery, instead of choosing numbers, they are going to choose the words they think the singer will sing.

Step 4. Hand out the song lottery worksheet and give the students some time to choose their ‘winning words”. They should fill out their lottery tickets and cut them out to give you before you play the song to check the winner (s) of the lottery.

Step 5. After everybody has handed you their tickets, play the lyric video and students check if their choices were the right one. The winner of the lottery is the one who guessed all the words right! (you can stipulate a prize for the winner eg. a chocolate candy bar, candy, etc. If nobody wins, you can tell them the prize will be accumulated for the next song lottery in one future class!

(you can also give the prize to the student who got more  points)

ANSWER KEY (winning words)

  1. keeps 02. moment 03. ref 04. wrong 05. day 06. class 07. man 08. busy 09. change 10 finish

Step 6. OPTIONAL speaking/reading activity:

You can have your students discuss the lyrics and say what they think the song is about and as a wrap-up you can have your students read this blog post which has a nice review and explanation of the meaning of the song. After reading they can compare what they thought with the actual meaning.

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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