Sam Smith vs Calvin Harris: Musical Combo! Teaching English With Songs [4 Skills]


This song-based STEP-BY-STEP LESSON PLAN for ENGLISH language TEACHING features the song extracts for You will be found (Sam Smith feat Summer Walker) and By your side (Calvin Harris feat Tom Grennan)

Students TALK about 2 famous artists, PLAY a bio facts game about the two (video); DESCRIBE pictures, WRITE a paragraph about a picture using words from the lyrics extracts, VOTE on their favorite song to WATCH the music video.

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

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!

Language level: B2
Learner type: All ages
Skills: speaking, reading, listening and writing
Topic: singers' bio facts
Materials: presentation , Bio Facts Video and Music Videos
Duration: 50 - 60 min
Download your free teaching resources: instructions.pdf 

So without further ado, let’s dive into this week’s song-based lesson plan! XD


Step 1 (5 min)

Genially presentation LINK

Slide 01 Photos of the singers. Ask students what they know about them, if they know their songs and if they like them.

Step 2 (15 min)

Slide 02. Bio Facts Game (video) that students play in teams. It’s a video with 10 questions about the singers, and the teams take turns answering the questions. So, first, use a die to see which team starts answering.

Each team member has A and B flashcards. (you can ask them to write the letters on a sheet of paper to use in the game)

After each question, they have 15 seconds to think. When the time’s up the team players have to show their answers. IMPORTANT: they must not communicate their answers to each other! They just lift their flashcard with the letter A or B.

(if all of them get the same letter and the answer was right, they get a 10-point bonus.) if not, they just get the number of points for the right answers they got. For example: if the correct answer was A, and 2 team players showed A and 1 showed B, they get 2 points.

Example Question 1: who was born in Scotland? a. Calvin b. Sam

They have 15 seconds to answer, pause the video when the time’s up and have the students show their answers. Award the points, then resume the video and do the same for the next question. The team with more points in the end is the winner!

questions in the video and the correct answers
Who became the first British solo artist to reach more than one billion streams on Spotify. (calvin)
Who worked at a bar before being famous(Sam)
His favorite pizza topping is Tuna (sam)
Who loves performing in Australia and Las Vegas? (calvin)
His favorite Holiday Destination is Italy (sam)
His real first name is Adam (calvin)
Who worked in a fish factory for a year? (calvin)
Who can’t stand Karaoke (sam)
Who has won four GRAMMY Awards.(sam)
Who doesn’t really want to be seen wearing shorts. (calvin)

Step 3 (7 min)

slide 03.

Show slide 03 with the lyrics extracts and 3 pictures. Have students read them. Help with the vocabulary. Ask students if they recognize the songs. Ask them to guess if the songs are fast, slow, happy, sad, then play the song extracts for them to check. Have students describe the pictures.

Step 4 (10 min)

In pairs (breakout rooms), students write a paragraph about one of the pictures using words from the lyrics extracts.

Step 5 (7 min)

The pairs share their paragraphs. have a vote on the most interesting, the funniest, the most creative, etc.

Step 6 (7 min)

Students vote on one song to watch the music video. After watching the music video, have students 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! 


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Happy teaching!  🙂

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