Creatively Mixing Houses & Songs: MUSICAL RESIDENCE with Bruce Springsteen – Letter To You [Teaching With Songs]


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

This week’s song-based lesson plan features BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN with LETTER TO YOU from his upcoming new album!

I hope that YOU and your students have lots of fun with the activities!!


This song-based activity STEP-BY-STEP LESSON PLAN  for ENGLISH language TEACHING features the lyrics for LETTER TO YOU by BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN. Students TALK about where they live, DESCRIBE  residences and IMAGINE their interior, LISTEN to the song and match it to one of the houses, IMAGINE and DESCRIBE what the residents of the places look like,  READ The lyrics, and WRITE a story (Cambridge English: First for schools Style) for homework.

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

Language level: B2 and above
Learner type: All ages
Skills: speaking, reading, listening and writing
Topic: Houses and lifestyles
Language/grammar: describing houses and people, writing stories
Materials: YouTube videos, google slides, collaborative google doc
Duration: about an hour
Downloadable materialsinstructions; google slides,
 collaborative google doc (for you to make a copy)

Check out the VIDEO VERSION of this post:


Step 1 (5 min)

Warm up questions. Ask your students:

Where do you live? A house or an apartment? Do you like where you live  now? What do you think it’s better, to live in a house or an apartment? Why?

Step 2 (7 min) 

Slide 1: Photos of residences. 

Screen-share the pictures of the three homes. Have students describe each of them.  How do they imagine the interior of the houses? How many rooms? Are they comfortable? Spacious?  Would they like to live in one of these places? Why (not)?

Step 3 (7 min) Vocabulary Video.

Tell your students they’re going to work with a new song.  And there’s something special about it: one person who lives in one of the houses LOVES this song. But before they listen to it, they’re going to learn some important vocabulary words. 

Play the vocabulary video 2x (or share the link in the chat box for them to watch in their devices)

Words and phrases on the video
'neath (preposition) - mongrel trees - pull a bothersome thread
summon (verb) - ink - blood - dig deep into something - soul

Ask some questions to practice the some of the most important words, expressions from the vocabulary:

1- When one of your friends starts pulling on a bothersome thread what do you do?  2- What are some ways that people can dig into someone’s life on the Internet? How can we prevent people from digging out inappropriate or private things about us on the Internet? 3- Do you agree with the phrase “The eyes are the windows to the soul? Explain

Step 4 (7 min)

Song: first listening.

Before playing the song, tell your students that their task is to imagine where the person who likes the song lives: house 1, 2 or 3?.

Play the song and have students write down the number of the house and think of why.

Step 5 (5 min)

Have students share their answers in the chat box. Count how many votes each house had, and ask students to explain their choices.

Step 6 (10 min)

(slide 2) Working in pairs (breakout rooms), have students choose one house and describe the person who lives in it with the help of the following questions (have them write their description in a doc or notepad for the next step):

1- What does he/she look like?
2- What’s his/her name?
3- How old is she/he?
4- What’s his/her occupation?
5- Is he/she happy? Why (not)?

Step 7 (10 min)

Share the link to the collaborative google doc. Have the pairs paste their descriptions under the house they chose. Have the pairs present their residents.

Step 8 (5 min)

Screen-share the lyrics of the song (slide 3) and play it again. Help students with the vocabulary. (here’s the official video it shows the lyrics, too)

Ask your students what they thought of the song and if the message really connects to the person and the house they chose in the previous steps.

Step 9 Homework (or in class, if you have time!)

Students write a story in which the resident of house one meets the resident of house 2 or 3 (they must use the residents that the class created in the google doc).

Students write a story in which the resident of house one meets the resident of
 house 2 or 3. How does this meeting happen? Where are they? How does it end?
Start with the sentence: “It was a beautiful morning and I woke up with a smile.”
1- good news
2- One line from the lyrics

Write 140 - 190 words

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! 




Happy teaching!  🙂

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