When Music Meets Literature: Wuthering Heights (kate Bush vs Emily Bronte) Teaching English with Songs Flashback!


The place to be if you believe in the power of songs to teach ENGLISH!

This week’s song-based lesson plan was a request by Elize Marais! She needed an activity for this song, and in my research to prepare it, I’ve learned a lot of cool things about Wuthering Heights, both the novel and the song! KATE BUSH translated the essence of Catherine and Heathcliff’s tragic love beautifully. This is a song from 1978 which I’ve always liked, but never realized that a GHOST was singing it! :O It made it even more special for me now, and I hope that YOU and your students enjoy it as much as I did preparing this lesson plan!!


This song-based activity STEP-BY-STEP LESSON PLAN  for ENGLISH language TEACHING features the lyrics and music video for “Wuthering Heights” by Kate Bush. Students TALK about books and movies, READ a short text about the novel Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte and do a true/ false exercise, WATCH a vocabulary video and do an exercise, LISTEN to the song and do an exercise with an interactive worksheet, READ comments about the song and the novel and DISCUSS with a partner, READ a letter written by Kate Bush and work with expressions (OPTIONAL), and WATCH the music video.

OBS: OBS: This lesson plan was made to be used for ONLINE TEACHING, but it can be modified for face-to-face instruction, as well.

Language level: B2
Learner type: All ages
Skills: speaking, reading, listening and writing
Topic: Books (Wuthering Heights) and Music, 
Language/grammar: vocabulary, opinions, writing letters
Materials: Youtube videos, google slides and interactive worksheet
Duration: 1 hour - 1h 30 min
Downloadable materialsinstructions; Google Slides


Step 1 (5 min) 

Warm up

Start by asking your students the following question: What’s better: a book or a movie? If a book has been made into a movie, which do you prefer to do first, see the movie or read the book? Why?

And have students share their answers, have them give you reasons and examples

Step 2 (10 min)

Tell your students that you’re going to work with a song based on the famous novel by Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights”. Ask students what they know what the story is about.

Screen-share Slide 1. Have them read a short text about  the story and decide if the sentences are TRUE or FALSE according to the text.

Step 3 (5 min)

Some song facts.

Tell your students that you’re going to work with a song, also titled Wuthering Heights written by Kate Bush. She was only 18 when she wrote the song, inspired by Emily Bronte’s novel which was published more than a century before, in 1846. Bush shares the same birthday as the book’s author, she also happens to be called the same as Bronte’s most known character, Catherine. Her song was a huge success, with her being the first female performer to ever have a self-written number 1 hit in the U.K.

Step 4 (10 min)

Vocabulary video (2:25 min)

Before working with the lyrics, have your students watch a video with some vocabulary from the song. Play the vocabulary video 2x (or ask students to watch it in their devices)

Words and phrases on the video: Moors – Wuthering Heights – temper – jealous, jealousy – grab – roam – fall through – pine – greedy

Screen-share slide 2 with the vocabulary exercise. Students fill in the gaps with the words from the video (they’re not going to use all of them

Vocabulary Exercise Answers
1- The young criminal tried to grab my purse on the street, but I ran away!
2- John must learn to control his temper. 
He made his sister cry when he shouted yesterday.
3- I felt sick with jealousy when I saw my girlfriend Mary talking to that new
 guy at school.
4- We went for a walk on the Moors in Yorkshire.It was cold and windy.
5- Mark’s plans are going to fall through if he doesn’t pay his debts with the bank.
6- I love to roam in the big park near my house on Sunday mornings.

Step 5 (10 min)

Interactive worksheet.

Share the link to the interactive worksheet. Students listen to the song and click on the 4 incorrect words in verses and pre-choruses, and write the corrections in their designated spaces.

To check their answers, tell students to click on FINISH!! and CHECK MY ANSWERS!!

Verse 1: fall 
Pre chorus 1: lose
Verse 2: dark
Pre chorus 2: side

Step 6 (10 – 15 min)

Fan’s comments.

Have students work in pairs (breakout rooms).

They have to read some comments about the song Wuthering Heights by Kate Bush, and the novel Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte and say which one they like/agree with the most and why.

Which comment do you like/agree with the most and why? Talk to a partner.

Optional step 7 (7 min)

Screen-share Slide 4.

Students read a letter Kate Bush kindly wrote to a fan in reply for his request for her song lyrics, and complete it with the expressions.

1- writing to me 2- thrilled  3- it’s no trouble 4- certainly 
5- read the book 6- enjoy the album 7- Best of luck 

Step 8 (5 – 7 min)

Music video.

Have students watch the music video and comment on it to close the activity.

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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