HOW TO USE SONGS TO TEACH ENGLISH: 12 SONG-BASED LESSON PLANS THAT PROMOTE COLLABORATION, CRITICAL THINKING, CREATIVITY & COMMUNICATION

Forget all about the same old gap-filled exercises! 

In this special post, you’ll find a collection of lesson plans that get your students participating in creative activities, analyzing links between ideas, and working towards a resolution related to carefully planned tasks

These highly creative activities also involve the sharing of information and ideas where students have the opportunity to express feelings and arguments, while being motivated by meaningful tasks that involve MUSIC! Nietzsche once said “Life without music is a mistake”. I’d like to say that English language teaching without music is also a HUGE mistake.

Well, without further ado, here are:

12 SONG-BASED LESSON PLANS THAT PROMOTE COLLABORATION, CRITICAL THINKING, CREATIVITY & COMMUNICATION

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1- MUSICAL VIDEO MATCH

DESCRIPTION: Students TALK about a short video, MATCH videos and music pieces, EXPLAIN their choices, WRITE the lyrics for a song with the help of a template, SING it to the rhythm of the music they chose, and WRITE a story for homework (Cambridge English: First for Schools).

https://songactivityfactory.com/2020/07/10/musical-video-match-connecting-videos-and-music-creatively-writing-lyrics-and-stories/

2- MUSICAL INTERVIEW

DESCRIPTION: Students LISTEN to a song intro, TALK about it and ANSWER questions about it, DO  listening exercise with the lyrics in an interactive worksheet, REVIEW question formation, work in groups to FORMULATE questions for an interview with the singer and as homework do a piece of writing or record a video.

https://songactivityfactory.com/2020/07/04/musical-interview-anne-marie-her-teaching-english-with-zoom-using-songs/

3- MUSICAL NARRATIVE

DESCRIPTION: Students USE their creativity to mix song titles and form a new one, CONNECT song lyric extracts from two songs and write a narrative, CHOOSE one of the songs and DO a listening exercise with the lyrics.

https://songactivityfactory.com/2020/06/26/musical-narrative-with-selena-gomez-tones-and-i-teaching-english-with-zoom-using-song/

4- MUSICAL PHOTO STORY

DESCRIPTION: 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.

https://songactivityfactory.com/2020/06/12/musical-photo-story-sia-together-teaching-english-with-zoom-using-songs-4-skils/

5- MUSICAL IMAGE CONNECTIONS

DESCRIPTION: Students MAKE connections between two images and WRITE their ideas, LISTEN to the song and CONNECT the ideas to images, WORK in pairs to MIX their ideas with other student’s and WRITE a short narrative, READ and correct other groups narratives in a collaborative google doc, LISTEN to the song and DO an exercise with the lyrics.

https://songactivityfactory.com/2020/06/05/musical-image-connections-lady-gaga-elton-john-sine-from-above-teaching-with-zoom/

6- CRAZY STORY

DESCRIPTION: Students TALK about relationship breakups, WRITE a crazy short story together, READ stories, WATCH a music video and comment on it. 

https://songactivityfactory.com/2020/04/04/teaching-english-online-with-zoom-using-songs-dua-lipa-writing-a2-b1-stories/

7- TATTOOS TOGETHER

DESCRIPTION: Students TALK about tattoos; WATCH a video and PLAY a memory game in teams, DO a word search exercise, LISTEN to the song, DO a listening exercise with the lyrics, and WRITE (answer) questions for the singer.

https://songactivityfactory.com/2020/02/01/tattoos-together-a-lesson-plan-for-english-language-teaching/

8- CONNECTING VIDEOS AND SONGS

DESCRIPTION: Students TALK about music videos and DO a matching exercise with videos and song extracts, WRITE a short narrative based on the videos and CHOOSE a theme song, READ the lyrics of a song, WATCH music videos and MAKE comparisons.

https://songactivityfactory.com/2019/10/07/songs-to-teach-english-connecting-videos-narratives-and-songs-creatively/

9- SONG CHALLENGE AND CHAT STATIONS

DESCRIPTION: Students THINK and TALK about connections between different things, LISTEN to a song challenge and FIND out the word in common, WATCH music videos, READ lyrics extracts, WORK together to make posters, EVALUATE each other’s work and EXPLAIN and present their own work to others.

https://songactivityfactory.com/2019/09/20/using-songs-to-teach-english-song-challenge-and-chat-stations/

10- BIRDS

DESCRIPTION: Students TALK about music and the band Imagine Dragons, DO a google search race in groups, PARTICIPATE in a running dictation (biography race), PLAY kahoot! (optional),  WATCH a video, WRITE a short narrative, DO a listening exercise with the lyrics (optional) and TALK about the song and the video.

https://songactivityfactory.com/2019/08/12/birds-imagine-dragons-a-lesson-plan-for-english-language-teaching/

11- ON A ROLL

DESCRIPTION: Students TALK about success and DO a vocabulary exercise, WATCH and COMPARE music videos, LISTEN to the song, and DO a listening exercise with the lyrics.

https://songactivityfactory.com/2019/06/15/on-a-roll-ashley-o-miley-cyrus/

12- HAPPIER (OBS: this was the first ever song-based lesson posted on this blog!)

DESCRIPTION: Students TALK about pets, WATCH a video, RETELL a story, WRITE a text, LISTEN to the song and DO a listening exercise with the lyrics.

https://songactivityfactory.com/2018/10/06/happier-marshmello-ft-bastille/

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That’s it for today! I hope this post helps you in your English language teaching practice!

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