Communication, Collaboration & Critical Thinking With Songs For Cambridge B2: SIA – Together!


This song-based activity STEP-BY-STEP LESSON PLAN  for ENGLISH language TEACHING features the lyrics and music video for “TOGETHER” by SIA. Students TALK about their favorite photos in groups, LISTEN to the song and connect their photos with other students’s photos to WRITE a short narrative in a collaborative google doc, WRITE a story in the mold of CAMBRIDGE ENGLISH: FIRST FOR SCHOOLS (FCE FOR SCHOOLS PAPER 2 PART 2 as homework. and, optionally, WORK with an interactive worksheet (CAN + LISTENING COMPREHENSION) using the lyrics.

OBS: This lesson plan was made to be used for ONLINE TEACHING WITH ZOOM features like BREAKOUT ROOMS, SCREEN-SHARING , 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: Photos
Language/grammar: talking about photographs, writing narratives, CAN
Materials: Youtube video, collaborative google doc and interactive worksheet
Duration: 1 hour - 1h 30 min
Downloadable materialsinstructions;collaborative google doc
(to make a copy you can edit)


Step 1 (5 min)

Warm-upScreen-share one photo from your phone/computer that you really like and present to your students.

Eg., To begin the class today, I want to share with you one picture that I really like! 
In this picture you can see me and my friends on the beach. 
I love it because on this day we had a lot of fun.

Have your students ask you questions about the picture and answer them.

Step 2 (5 min)

Ask students to find one photo on their phones or computers that they really like.

Step 3 (10 min)

In small groups (breakout rooms), students share the photos with the group, and talk about them. The other members can ask questions, too. Everybody presents their photos.

Step 4 (5 min) 

When the students are back to the main room, ask some students to report on their groups (call just 2 or 3 students to do that.)

Step 5 (10 min)

Share the link to the collaborative google doc and mix the groups again. In the new breakout rooms, students will present their photos again. This time, however, after their presentation, students upload the photos to their group’s designated space in the google doc.

Step 6 (5 min)

Back to the main room, play the song or the music video for Together by Sia. Students listen/watch and say if they liked it or not and why.

Step 7 (5 min)

Rotate the groups.  How? Group 1 works with the photos from group 2. Group 2 works with the photos from group 3 and so on. The last group works with the pictures from the first one.

Step 8 (10 min)

The same groups from step 5 go back  to the breakout rooms  to write a short narrative connecting the photos using the song as an inspiration. 

They have to write their narratives under the correspondent photos in the google doc.

Step 9 (5 – 7 min)

Students read the narratives of all groups, and vote on the most interesting.

Step 10 (homework).

On the Cambridge English First for Schools Exam, in the second part of the Writing paper (Paper 2), there is the option of writing a Story. If you are preparing your students for this exam, this exercise will be helpful.

Tell your students to write a story based on one of the narratives from the collaborative google doc.  This task is similar to the ones the students are likely to find in the real exam:

Your teacher has asked you to write a story for the school magazine.

Stories wanted
Your story must begin with this sentence:

“All you need to do is pick up the pen and begin.” she said. 

Your story must include:
  • A funny accident
  • A photograph
Write your story (140 - 190 words)

Optional Step 11 (10 min)

Share the interactive worksheet with an exercise  in which students complete the sentences with the correct form of CAN and the verbs in parenthesis, and a listening exercise in which the students listen to the song and complete the gaps with the sentences from the first exercise.

OBS. tell students to click in the FINISH button when they’re done and then in CHECK MY ANSWERS to see their results.

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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