Teaching English With Songs: (Tones and I – Fly Away) Musical Photo Questions by the Song Activity Factory


There are numerous websites for teachers out there, but here is the place to be if you believe in the power of songs to teach English!.

If you’re a BELIEVER, here you’ll find Creativity, Inspiration, Teaching Ideas and Resources to bring Musical innovation to your English Language Teaching Practice!

Whether you teach English online or not, teaching English with songs has wider scope than you think, and is not restricted to listening exercises with songs or gap-fill. Check my older posts and don’t be afraid to try something new!

This week, SAF features TONES AND I with the song FLY AWAY!  I hope YOU and your students have a BLAST with it!


This song-based STEP-BY-STEP LESSON PLAN  for ENGLISH language TEACHING features the lyrics and music video for “FLY AWAY” by TONES AND I. Students TALK about a picture, READ The lyrics related to it, WRITE questions about it, COLLABORATE in groups to write and answer questions, CORRECT mistakes in the answers, WATCH the music video and optionally work with an INTERACTIVE WORKSHEET with the lyrics

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

Language level: B1+B2
Learner type: All ages
Skills: speaking, reading, listening and writing
Topic: Dreams 
Language/grammar: asking questions, speculating.
Materials: YouTube video, google slides and collaborative google doc
Duration: 1 hour - 1h 20 min
Download your free teaching resources: instructions; google slides IMPORTANT:
 to make a copy of the slides, click on “file”, then “make a copy” :);
 collaborative google doc (for you to make a copy you can edit) 


Step 1 (5 min) 

Screen-share Slide 1. Have a student or students describe it. Ask other students what they think is going on in the picture.

Photo from The New York Times

Step 2 (5 -7 min)

Click on the slide to show the lyrics extract. Tell them the lyrics are related to the picture in some way. Ask a student to read them. Help students with the vocabulary if necessary. 

Individual task. Have them write 2 interesting/ creative questions about the picture and the lyrics.

Step 3 (10 min)

Divide students into groups of 3 (breakout rooms). Their task is to come up with 10 different questions about the picture. They should save this to a notepad or a doc for later use.

Step 4  (5 – 7 min) 

Back to the main room, share the link to the collaborative google doc with designated spaces for the groups to work. Ask students from the groups to paste their questions to their designated spaces. Correct the mistakes.

Step 5 (10  min)

Exchange the questions between groups. For example, group B gets the questions from group A, group A gets the questions from group B. If you have more groups, make it so that the groups don’t get their own questions for this step.

After assigning the questions to the groups, back to their breakout rooms, their task now is to answer the questions (in the google doc) as if they were the people in the picture

Step 6 (10 min)

Back to the main room, Have students read all the answers and choose their favorite ones. While they do that, highlight the mistakes you see in the answers. 

After students have read all the answers and chosen their favorite ones, call random students to explain why they liked their favorite answers. Have students correct the highlighted mistakes in the answers. Help if necessary.

Step 7 ( 3 min)

Play the music video and have students comment on it.

Step 8 (5 – 7 min) optional 

Interactive worksheet. Students listen to the song Fly Away by Tones and I and click on the seven extra 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! 


SUBSCRIBE to SAF’s FREE MUSIC CHANNEL (Copyright Free Music for Teachers!)



Happy teaching!  🙂

One comment

  1. 👏

    On Sun, Nov 29, 2020, 20:28 Song Activity Factory wrote:

    > Márcia “Mars” Bonfim posted: ” WELCOME to the SONG ACTIVITY FACTORY! There > are numerous websites for teachers out there, but here is the place to be > if you believe in the power of songs to teach English!. If you’re a > BELIEVER, here you’ll find Creativity, Inspiration, Teaching I” >


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