How To Make Your Students Think Critically With Songs: Musical Choice [Teaching With Songs]


This song-based STEP-BY-STEP LESSON PLAN for ENGLISH language TEACHING features the song lyrics for If You Ever Change your Mind (Calum Scott), She’s All I Wanna Be (Tate McRae) and Beg For You (Charli XCX feat. Rina Sawayama).

Students TALK about breaking up, WATCH an edited music video, TALK about it and SPECULATE about the song it belongs to; READ the lyrics for 3 songs, DECIDE which song fits the video, VOTE on the best fit and WATCH the original music video to check.

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: relationships 
Materials: Edited music video, original music video, presentation
Duration: 50 - 60 min
Download your free teaching resources: instructions.pdf; song lyrics worksheet cutout.pdf

Check out an article featuring this activity on FREEED (a great platform for teachers worldwide to share ideas and resources!


Step 1 (5 min)

Ask: “What is the best way to break up with a boyfriend/girlfriend?” Have students give you ideas, write them on the board, then have a vote on the best one.

Step 2 (5 min)

(slide 1) genially presentation LINK

Students watch a video (link) with a couple dancing (it shows edited scenes from a music video with a different music background). Tell students to talk about the video and what kind of song it could be about.

Step 3 (10 – 15 min)

Divide students into 3 groups A, B and C. Have all students copy the chart below. (slide 2)

Students in group A will read the lyrics for song A and complete the chart only for song A.

Students in group B will read the lyrics for song B and complete the chart only for song B.

Students in group C will read the lyrics for song C and complete the chart only for song C

Song A link Song B link Song C link (send them the link via chat box if you’re teaching online

or have them scan the code with slide 03 –

You can also print the worksheet cut out.pdf cut it and and hand it out to the students)

The students in each group must discuss the lyrics, and with the video in mind, come to a final and unanimous decision about the song and write their reasons why it is so (or not).

Step 4 (10 min)

Regroup the students, but this time mixing students from the A,b and c Groups: Example: group 1= (sA + sB + sC)

In the new groups, the students are going to share and explain their conclusions from their original groups, so the others can fill their tables for the other songs, too.

Step 5 (10 min)

Check the results and the songs that received a yes. If there’s more than one song, the students (as a class) will have to decide on only one, based on the reasons on their tables. Have a class debate and a final vote.

Step 6 (5 min)

Tell students that they are going to watch the real music video to see if they voted for the right song.

Step 7 (7 min)

Have students comment on the music video and if it was what they thought it would be or if they were surprised with it and why.

Song A ( if you ever change your mind – Calum Scott) Song B (​she’s all i wanna be – Tate McRae) Song C (Beg for You – Charli XCX feat. Rina Sawayama)

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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