Teaching English with SONGS: Major Lazer – Lay Your Head On Me (4 skills)


This song-based activity STEP-BY-STEP LESSON PLAN  for ENGLISH language TEACHING features the lyrics and music video for Lay Your Head On Me by Major Lazer feat. Marcus Mumford

In this song-based activity, students READ and CORRECT song facts and official music video facts, MATCH musical instruments and their names, TALK about playing musical instruments, WATCH the music video and ANSWER questions about it, IDENTIFY a phonetic sound and DO a listening exercise with the song lyrics

OBS: This lesson plan was made for ONLINE TEACHING WITH ZOOM features like ZOOM WHITEBOARD, ZOOM SCREEN SHARE and ZOOM CHAT, but it can be modified for face-to-face instruction, as well.

Language level: A2 and above
Learner type: All ages
Skills: speaking, reading, listening and writing
Topic: Music, bands, instruments
Language topic: phonetic sound /ei/
Materials: Youtube video, google slides, interactive worksheet, pdf worksheet file
Duration: 1 hour - 1h 30 min
Downloadable materialsinstructions; google slides; lyrics worksheet.pdf



Step 1 (5 min) Warm up

Ask students to give names of famous bands they like. Write them on the board. Have students say why they like them. 

,Step 2 (5 min) Band bio

Ask them if they know MAJOR LAZER. If not, screenshare the first slide with the info about Major Lazer and have a student read it. Maybe they will have questions about the vocabulary. Help them or ask other students to do it.

Major Lazer is a Jamaican-American electronic dance music trio formed by record producer Diplo, and DJs Walshy Fire and Ape Drums. Diplo and Switch founded it in 2008. Switch left the group after three years in 2011.Jillionaire and Walshy Fire took his place

Step 3 (10 – 15 min) Reading and writing exercise

Show them the second slide with the song facts exercise. Students read it and prepare to say why the sentences (1-6) are false. After they have finished, have different students write their explanations in the CHAT BOX. Correct the grammar mistakes and ask other students if they agree with the student’s answer. Do this for all the sentences.

Read the text and explain why the sentences (1-6) are false.

Major Lazer worked with Marcus Mumford from the group Mumford & Sons to make the song LAY YOUR HEAD ON ME. This is the first time they work together. MØ also wrote this song with them. He is a singer from Denmark.and worked with Major Lazer in 2015. 

Filip Nilsson directed the music video.  It shows Major Lazer, Marcus Mumford and MØ playing the song while quarantined in their homes. In the video we can also see 177 clips from 28 countries with dancers and musicians dancing and playing the song. Some of these artists are: the Israeli pop duo Lola Marsh, Dream Catchers Seminar (a school for orphan children in Nigeria) and Brazilian brothers Renan and Renato - one of them is blind. The choreographer was Ryan Heffington. He is famous for his work with Sia and Florence & The Machine.

1- Only two people wrote this song.  
2- MØ is from the United States 
3- The music video shows only dancers 
4- The music video shows Major Lazer singing with his sons
5- Flip Nilsson directed and choreographed the music video.
6- We see 177 clips from more than 28 countries in the music video

1- Three people wrote the song (Major Lazer, MO and Marcus Mumford).  
2- MØ is from Denmark
3- The music video shows dancers and musicians
4- no, it shows him alone in his house
5- Flip Nilsson just directed, who choreographed it was Ryan Heffington.
6- We see 177 clips from 28 countries 

Step 4 (10 min) Speaking exercise

Show the third slide with the speaking exercise, and ask students to copy the questions or to take a print from the screen.

In pairs (BREAKOUT ROOMS), students talk about the following questions:

1- Do you play any musical instruments? If so, how long have you played them?
If negative, which one would you like to play and why?
2- Does anyone in your family play a musical instrument? Which one?

After about 5 min, back to the main room, students share their answers.

Step 5 (5 min) vocabulary

Show the fourth slide with the vocabulary exercise (musical instruments). Students match the instruments and their names.

(  2   ) Acoustic guitar (  9   ) Electric guitar ( 6    ) Harp (  3   ) Saxophone (  7   ) Drums ( 1    ) Accordion
(  4   ) Tuba (  5   ) Violin (  8   ) Piano 

Step 6 (10 min) Music video


Tell students they are going to watch the music video for LAY YOUR HEAD ON ME and answer the question: Which instrument from the vocabulary exercise  is NOT in the video?  

Answer: The TUBA is not in the video


Tell students they’re watching the video again to answer the challenge question:  How many different instruments are played in the video? 

Answer  (17 instruments are played in the video) 
 Musical instruments played in the music video (in order of appearance) : 1-  acoustic guitar 2 - accordion 3- electric guitar 4 - keyboard 5  -ukulele 6- tambor 7 - violin
8-  piano 9 -drums 10 -  banjo 11 cello  12 handpan hang 13 Saxophone 14 Trumpet 15 Harp
16  bandura 17 flute

Step 7 (7 min) (Phonetic sound /ei/)

Show the slide 4 with the following information:

We pronounce  the phonetic sound /ei/ as in make, they, and great

And have students give you other example words with the sound /ei/ and write them on the board.

Step 8 (7 min) interactive worksheet

Share the link to the interactive worksheet and students complete it. OBS. tell students to click in the FINISH button when they’re done and then in CHECK MY ANSWERS to see their results.

The slide 5 has the same exercise in case you want to use it to correct the exercises as a class.

answers: Afraid  ( y  )  Always ( y  ) Away ( y  ) Cannot (  n  ) Chase ( y  ) Claim ( y  ) Eyes (  n  ) fine (  n  ) Head (n   ) Lay (  y  ) Okay ( y  ) Pass (  n  ) Path (  n  ) Place (  y  ) Safe ( y  ) Same ( y  ) Scar ( n  ) Shall (n   ) Someday ( y  ) Waiting (  y ) Way (y  )


Step 9 (10 min)  

Share the Lyrics worksheet. Play the song. Students listen and cross out the seven extra words

Answers:  Extra words: very - person - great - now - all - just - special

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! 


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Happy teaching!  🙂

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