This song-based activity lesson plan for English language teaching features the song Modern Loneliness by Lauv and its music video. Students play a hangman game, talk about loneliness, speculate about and compare photographs (Cambridge English: First and First for Schools paper 4, part 2), do a use of English part 1 exercise (Cambridge English: First and First for Schools paper 1, part 1) and discuss the lyrics.
Language level: B1+/B2 and above Learner type: All ages Skills: speaking, reading, listening and writing Topic: loneliness Language: Vocabulary related to feelings, expressing opinions, comparing and speculating about photographs Materials: Youtube video, worksheets, genial.ly presentation and mp3 file Duration: 1 hour - 1h 30 min Downloadable materials: instructions; photograph worksheet; use of English part 1 worksheet; song mp3
PART 1 – Warm-up and hangman
Start by telling your students that they will play a hangman game with the topic of the class.
You can write it on the board or use the hangman app created at learningapps.org.
After the game, ask students to explain what LONELINESS is.
Tell them it is a noun for the adjective LONELY, which means unhappy because you are not with other people.
Use the genial.ly presentation below to have students work in pairs and speculate about how the man is feeling.
PART 2 – Comparing photographs
Note: In part two of the speaking paper (paper 4) of the Cambridge English: First and First for Schools according to the handbook “(…) candidates are given the opportunity to speak for 1 minute without interruption. Each candidate is asked to compare two colour photographs, and to make a further comment about them in response to a task that is read out by the interlocutor. A prompt is given to the candidates in the form of a direct question; this is written above the photographs. Candidates are expected to point out similarities and differences between the photographs and then move on to deal with the question, answering it with reference to both photographs.”
It might be a good idea to teach/review some useful language for contrasting, comparing, speculating, before your students do the next step.
Tell students that they are going to practice speaking for 1 min about a pair of photographs (speaking part 2). Hand out the photograph worksheet. Have the pairs decide who is Student A and Student B. Explain that all pairs will be doing the exercise at the same time, and that you are going to be the examiner and give the instructions for the task and also keep track of the time for them. While student A is speaking, Student B must not interrupt and only pay attention in order to comment afterwards.
Review the useful expressions in the worksheet and ask students to give you example sentences with them.
Comparing: In the same way, Similarly, Likewise, Also Contrastin Speculating: I guess, I imagine, I suppose, Perhaps, Possibly, Look(s) like, Seem(s) like, Might
After your students are ready (divided into student A and Studend B), read out the instructions for student A:
(Candidate A), it’s your turn first. Here are your photographs. They show people being alone in different situations. I’d like you to compare the photographs, and say how they are feeling in these situations. All right? (Keep track of 1 min while your students do the task – when the time is over say: THANK YOU).
Have the students who were not speaking (student B) to comment on their partner’s performance, whether they compared and contrasted the two pictures, answered the question, used varied expressions etc.
Now it’s student B’s turn. After your students are ready, read out the instructions for student B:
(Candidate B),Now it’s your turn. Here are your photographs. They show people who are using cellphones in different situations. I’d like you to compare the photographs, and say why they are using cellphones in these situations All right? (Keep track of 1 min while your students do the task – when the time is over say: THANK YOU).
Have the students who were not speaking (student A) comment on their partner’s performance, whether they compared and contrasted the two pictures, answered the question, used varied expressions etc.
Optionally, you can have students swap roles and do the exercise again, if you have time.
PART 3 – Use of English Part 1 Worksheet
Note: In part 1 of the reading and use of English paper (paper 1) of the Cambridge English: First and First for Schools according to the handbook “(…) Candidates are required to draw on their lexical knowledge and understanding of the text in order to fill the gaps. Some questions test at a phrasal level, such as collocations and set phrases. Other questions test meaning at sentence level or beyond, with more processing of the text required. A lexico-grammatical element may be involved, such as when candidates have to choose the option which fits correctly with a following preposition or verb form.
Hand out the use of English part 1 worksheets. Have students do the exercise with the lyrics of the song: Modern Loneliness by Lauv.
Play the mp3 file of the song for students to check their work.
answers: 1 b. Become 2 d. Some 3 b. Get 4 b. So 5 d, always 6 a. How 7 d. With 8 a. Solve
Ask students to explain why the song is called “modern loneliness” and if they agree with its message and why.
Note: according to genius lyrics “On “Modern Loneliness,” American singer-songwriter Lauv sings about the ‘modern way’ of being lonely despite people being constantly surrounded by friends.”
Have a plenary discussion about the topic, have students use the lyrics to prove their points.
Play the music video to close the discussion and have students give their final comments about it.
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