That’s Just Life! A Song-based Lesson Plan To Help Your Students Cope With Setbacks


Introducing: the Life Fluency Video Series: English With Meaning!

These are special song-based lesson plans made to engage students and help them deal with life in a productive way. These song-based lesson plans feature video tips and meaningful song lyrics, songs with positive and motivational messages for students to make them think, improve their English and their own lives in the process!

This week’s LP features the music video and lyrics to “That’s just life” by Memphis May Fire and a video focusing on 5 Reminders to Help Students Stay Positive During Tough Times.

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

Language level: B2
Learner type: All ages
Skills: speaking, reading, listening, writing 
Topic: Coping with setbacks
Materials: genially presentation, YouTube Videos
Duration: 1 hour
Downloadable materials: Instructions.pdf
- Help students understand and discuss their reactions to setbacks in life
- Provide tips and strategies to cope with setbacks
- Engage students in a discussion of the song "That's Just Life" by Memphis May Fire and its themes

Welcome to the Song Activity Factory! Here, we follow the rules of The Creative Jedi Code:

See below for other posts to Teach English Creatively With Songs:


Step 1 (5 min)

Slide 1 – genially presentation link:

How do you react when bad things happen to you? Do you raise your fist and curse up at the sky Or do you close your eyes and realize that’s just life? Help with unknown vocabulary and have various students share their answers with the class.

Step 2 (6 min)

pairwork (breakout rooms).

How can we deal with setbacks in life? Have students work in pairs, give them a couple of minutes to talk about the question.

Step 3 (6 min)

Back to the main room, have the pairs share their ideas, and ask other pairs what they think of them. Also ask If they think the ideas could really help and why. Have a mini discussion.

Step 4 (5 min)

Tell students you are going to play a video with 5 tips to help students cope with setbacks.

first watch: have students take notes of the tips. Play the video (slide2).. It has some blanks in the subtitles, tell students to ignore the gaps for now and focus only on the tips. After the first watch, have students say what the five tips were.

Step 5 (5 min)

Slide 3. Show the five tips and have students say what they thought of the tips, which is the best in their opinion and why. Also ask them which one they could start using right now.

Step 6 (5 min)

Second watch. Students watch the video again in order to write down the missing words in the subtitles. have them write their answers on a sheet of paper to check later. Play the video once or twice for them to get all the answers. Obs: the answers are in the Instructions.pdf in the downloadable materials of this post (see description).

Step 7 (5 min)

Slide 4. Music video for That’s Just Life by Memphis May Fire. Play the music video and as they watch it, they have to answer the questions below:

1- What is the song about?

2- What situations, problems are shown in the video?

3- Is it a positive or a negative song? Explain.

Step 8 (6 min)

Divide students into small groups (breakout rooms) and have them discuss the music video and the questions to share with the whole class later. give them about 2-3 min to discuss.

Step 9 (6 min)

Groups report their answers and Ideas. Have a mini discussion to finish 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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