Sick And Tired Of The Boring Song Gap Fill Activities For Listening Exercises To Teach English? Read These 5 Solutions

Forget all about ancient fill in the blank song lyrics worksheets, also known as boring song gap fill activities!

There is SO MUCH more you can do with a song in an ESL, EFL, ELT classroom!

Imagination and creativity are limitless, but unfortunately, the activities most teachers use to do with songs in class are so predictable and repetitive! 

Listening exercises with songs are great, yes! However, there are other fun ways to teach ESL, EFL students. Here, at the Song Activity Factory, I pledge to stay away from what I call “The gap-filling death of Creativity” by following the Creative Jedi Code, which states the following rules when creating song activities and song-based lesson plans: 

“There is no boredom, there is Motivation.
There is no passivity, there is Engagement.
There is no ignorance, there is Critical Thinking.
There is no reality, there is Imagination.
There is no gap-filling death, There is Creativity!”
Márcia ‘Mars’ Bonfim (Jedi Version LOL)

Although I much rather watch Star Trek (I love you, Spock from Star Trek: Strange New Worlds!), I must admit that Star Wars has an amazing story and philosophy that we can apply to our own lives, like this one:

“You must unlearn what you have learned… No! Try not. Do. Or do not. There is no try.” – Yoda

Let’s apply this here and now: If you learned that ESL song lyrics gap fill exercises are the only thing you can do when it comes to working with songs, this blog post aims to inspire you and bring you to the Light side of the Force!!

Here are 5 Song-based Lesson Plans To Help You Teach More Creatively [your students will thank you!]

  1. What if you could prepare your students for Cambridge: C1 Advanced AND at the same time talk about traveling and enjoy a really catchy tune? This is what this song-based lesson plan is all about. Check this great LP below:
  1. Take your students on a Musical World Tour! Visit Albania, Cameroon, Turkey and Uzbekistan with your students, discover beautiful places and songs, while reading and correcting their English translations! Vey fun, cultural and engaging! Level B1 and above. 

Check it out below:

  1. Preparing students for Cambridge: First and First for Schools? How about a SUPER funny lesson plan involving funny music clips without sound to activate your students creativity? In this song-based lesson plan they also talk about photos, listen to audio clips and write a narrative in pairs, and more! Feat. Billie Eilish, Shawn Mendes and BTS. Level B1+ B2

Access this LP below:

Bonus (if you liked the idea, here’s a similar one for you to try LINK Feat. Panic! At the Disco, Paramore & BTS

  1. The title of this next song-based lesson plan says it all: Teaching With Songs: Musical Choice – Making Your Students Think Critically! Level B2, B2+

Check it below:

  1. Have you ever thought about using free stock videos and music to get your students’ creative juices flowing? No? Well, try this highly creative lesson plan in which students match videos and music, and also write the lyrics for a song, sing it and to top it off, you can use it to prepare them for Cambridge English: First for Schools!

Check this favorite of mine below:

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!  🙂

PS. Elevate Your ELT with this Free Course!

From Dull to Dynamic: Song Facts For ELT Success” teaches you to turn ‘bad’ songs into engaging lessons. Click this LINK and start the course now! (blog post format)


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