song activity factory musical definitions ed sheeran afterglow lesson plan

Teaching With Songs: Musical Definitions with Ed Sheeran


Here is the place to be if you believe in the power of songs to teach English! The place to 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 with songs has a wider scope than you might think, and it does not only mean gap-fill! Check my older posts and don’t be afraid to try something new!

On this very first song-based LP of 2021, the Song Activity Factory features Ed Sheeran’s new hit: AFTERGLOW

I hope YOU and your students have a BLAST with it!

Photo by Harald Krichel


This song-based STEP-BY-STEP LESSON PLAN  for ENGLISH language TEACHING features the lyrics and music video for “Afterglow” by Ed Sheeran. Students DESCRIBE pictures, LISTEN to the song and choose one picture to represent it, EXPLAIN their choices, READ definitions of words, LISTEN to the song and find the words defined, DO a listening exercise with an interactive worksheet.

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

Language level: B1
Learner type: All ages
Skills: speaking, reading, listening and writing
Language/grammar: word definitions, describing pictures
Materials: YouTube video, genially presentation
Duration: 45  min - 1h
Download your free teaching resources:  instructions


Step 1 (7  min) 


Slide 1. Ask different students to describe the pictures. Then, tell them they’re going to listen to a song. Their task is to choose one of the pictures to represent the song, and be prepared to explain why.

After playing the song once, ask students to write: L(left), M (middle) or R (right) in the chat box to indicate which picture they chose. Ask random students to explain their choices. Also ask them if they recognize the singer or the song (but don’t tell them who it is).

Step 2 (10 min)

Show the table with the word definitions (slide 2).

Tell students they are going to listen to the song again, but now they have to identify words in the song. 

Ask students to read the definitions. Have them take a print of the screen, and as they listen to the song, write their answers on a sheet of paper 

Play the song twice.

Step 3 (5 min) 

In pairs (breakout rooms), students compare their answers.

Step 4 (5 min)

Have students read the words and definitions for the correction.

Step 5 (10 min)

Interactive Worksheet.

Share the link to the Interactive worksheet in the chat box: Interactive Worksheet

Tell students to listen and click the extra words in the song.

To check their answers, tell students to click FINISH! And then CHECK  MY ANSWERS!

Step 6 (7 min)

Students say how they imagine the music video is like. (ask students who know not to say it)

Play the video for them to check their guesses. Have some students comment on the video to close the activity.

The Song Activity Factory presents:

TIME-SAVING eBook that does the heavy work so you can focus on the most important: INSPIRING and MOTIVATING YOUR STUDENTS to learn CREATIVELY!


That’s it for our first song-based LP of 2021! I hope this activity is helpful and enjoyable! 



Happy teaching!  🙂

If you enjoyed this song-based lesson plan, know that by registering to the NEW EXCLUSIVE MEMBERSHIP AREA you can get FREE LIFETIME ACCESS TO:

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