No Matter What – Calum Scott


This ELT song activity is based on the song No Matter What by Calum Scott  and the official music video. Students talk about parent and children relationships, review irregular verbs and the Simple Past tense, watch an edited video, Write a narrative based on the video, listen to the song and do a listening exercise with the lyrics

Language level: Pre-Intermediate (B1) and above

Learner type: All ages

Skills: speaking, writing & listening

Topic: relationships

Language: Vocabulary related to family relationships, expressions to agree, disagree and express opinions

Materials: A vimeo edited video, youtube link for the official video, song mp3 file and song activity Worksheet

Duration: 1 hour

Downloadable materials: instructions; song mp3; song worksheet 

Part 1 – warm up / review of irregular verbs

Step1.  Students write down as many irregular verbs as they can remember in 2 min in a sheet of paper. Tell them to write the verbs in their infinitive form

Step 2. Divide the class in two. If there is an odd number, choose the most extroverted student to come to the board and be your assistant,

Step3. Group work.
In their teams, students compile a final list of verbs with all the irregular verbs they remembered.

Step 4. Tell them the team with more correct irregular verbs on the lists will be the winner. Give them an extra 30s to add more verbs to the list.

Step 5. When the time’s up. (Nobody is allowed to add any more verbs to the list at this point. Make sure students know the teams are going to be penalized and lose points for cheating!  Ask teams to count how many verbs they’ve found and tell the assistant.

Step 6. Have your assistant draw a line in the center of the board, and write A/B on each side of it, with the number of verbs each team got.

Step 7. Team A starts telling the assistant all the verbs in their lists, and he/she writes them on their correspondent side of the board. (No corrections at this time)

Step 8. Team B does the same thing, omitting the verbs already in team A’s list. (The teacher checks the lists, to avoid cheating)

Step 9. Class work. The teacher goes over each verb, and with the help of the class, checks if the verbs are really irregular and ask random students to give their correspondent simple past forms, and write them in front of the verbs. Students copy them, as they are going to use them later.
After recounting the valid verbs, the teacher awards points (for verbs in the 2 lists, the teams get 5 points, for original verbs, they get 10) the team with more points is the winner!

Part 2 

Edited video from the music video for “no matter what” – (speaking/writing)

Step 9. Students watch the modified video (obs: the music heard in this video is instrumental and it is not the original song) 

Step 10. In pairs students talk about the following questions: .

  1. The video shows 3 important moments in the boy’s life. Talk about what happened in these 3 moments.
  2. How did he deal with those situations? Who helped him? How?
  3. Which of the following quotes best applies to the video? why?
a) "A mother is a woman who shows you the light when you just see the dark." Grimaldos Robin 

b) "A mother understands what a child does not say." unknown

c) "Simply having children does not make mothers." John A. Shedd

Step 11. The pairs share their answers and the teacher asks other pairs if they agree/disagree and why. Students express their opinions and have a mini discussion

Step 12. Students rewatch the video. Tell them to pay attention to the details because they are going to rewrite the story.

Step 13. Give the pairs 10 min to write a paragraph with the story of the video. Tell them to include as many verbs from part 1 in the paragraph as possible.

Step 14, students share their paragraphs
Step 15. Students watch the official music video.

Step 16. In pairs. After they watch the video, the teacher asks the students why they think the boy was bullied in the second part of the video (answers as a class)

Part 3 the lyrics – listening

Step 17.Individual task.
Students receive the song worksheet, listen to the song and fill in the gaps with the verbs in the past
Step 18  play the song again and stop at each gap to check.

Answer key:

  1. Was   2. Didn’t understand  3. Took  4. Said 5. Got  6. Came  7. Ran  8. Saw  9 Had 10. looked

That’s it for this week!
I hope this ELT activity can help your classes and add value to your work!

Happy teaching!



Watch & Catch!

watch catch pic

Introducing a new, fun and original ELT video activity – WATCH & CATCH –  containing excerpts from music videos for current songs, in which students have to ‘catch’ visuals in the video excerpts, as well as words in the lyrics of the songs.

Description:  In this activity, students work in teams to identify, visually and audibly,  grammar and/or vocabulary words in the music video and lyrics. as a competition; they are awarded points for each right item identified. 
Language level: A2+ and above     
Learner type: All ages
Skills: listening, writing
Topic: varied
Language and grammar: common objects, animals, parts of the body, food, numbers, basic prepositions, adverbs of frequency, adjectives,
Materials: vimeo video  and a blank sheet of paper for each group (to write down their answers)
Duration: 20 -30 min
Downloadable materials: none


Step 1. Tell students they are going to watch a video with 5 excerpts from different music videos, and in each excerpt they have to identify – catch – something visual (in the video ie. find a number or an animal), and also listen to something in the lyrics: ie listen to adjectives.  

There are 5 video excerpts, and before each one, there are instructions to what the students are supposed to catch. The excerpts are recorded 3 times in a row, so tell students they have 3 chances to find what is asked. For each right item, the teams get one point. The team with more points wins!

Step 2. Divide the teams. make sure each one has a blank sheet of paper to write their answers down.

Step 3. Play the video (pause it on each video instruction and make sure to review the things they’re supposed to see or find before they watch it. For example: ask students if they remember adverbs of frequency and ask them to give examples.

Step 4. To award the points, before playing the next video, pause, and walk around the groups awarding the points. (read their answers and write the number of points on their sheet)

AnswersVideo 01Find: a means of communication (TV) - Listen to: something you use in school (a number) 
Video 02Find: an animal (tiger) - Listen to: parts of the body (hands / heart) 
Video 03Find: a number (98) - Listen to: prepositions (in / out)  
Video 04Find: something sweet (ice cream) - Listen to: a frequency adverb (never) 
Video 05Find: something connected to religion (crosses on necklaces) - Listen to: adjectives (weak, shy, sweet)
Songs featured in this ELT video activity: 
video 01: Trust My Lonely (Alessia Cara); 
video 02: Big Love (the Black Eyed Peas); 
video 03: Just Got Paid (Sigala, Meghan Trainor, Ella Eyre); 
video 04: Shallow (Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper); 
video 05: Woman Like Me (Little Mix)

That’s it for today! I hope you enjoy this ELT video/song activity.


Here Comes the Change (From the Motion Picture ‘On The Basis of Sex’) – Kesha



This ELT song activity is based on the song ‘Here comes the Change’ by Kesha and the official music video. Students read quotes about gender inequality, talk about it, read the lyrics of the song and work with verb tenses, listen to the song, watch the music video and do a listening exercise with  it,

Language level: Pre-Intermediate (B1+) and above

Learner type: All ages

Skills: speaking, reading & listening

Topic: gender inequality

Language: Vocabulary related to gender inequality, expressions to agree, disagree and express opinions

Materials: Youtube video, mp3 file and song activity Worksheet

Duration: 1 hour

Downloadable materials: Here Comes- instructions; worksheet and mp3 file



Step 1. WHOLE CLASS:: Beside physical differences, what is different between men and women? (write students answers on the board, help with some vocabulary) [5 min]

Step 2. IN PAIRS. Hand out the song worksheet part 1. Students read and talk about the meaning of the following quotes and say which ones they agree and disagree with and why[10 min]:

quotes kesha

Step 3. WHOLE CLASS: (students share what they discussed in pairs with the whole class. As each pair shares their answers, the teacher asks other students if they agree/disagree and why, so everyone gets the chance to participate and get practice with interaction and using the language of opinions/agreement/disagreement. [5 – 10 min]


Step 4. INDIVIDUAL TASK  Exercise 2 of the song worksheet. Tell students they have to read the lyrics of the song and correct the verbs. [10 min] when they have finished, before playing the mp3 file of the song, have them check their answers in pairs.

Answer key:

  1. will keep turning
  2. you’ll be
  3. they live
  4. it’s time
  5. there’ll come


Step 5. INDIVIDUAL TASK  Exercise 3. The students watch the music video and fill out the blanks in the script for the scenes from the upcoming movie ‘on the basis of sex’ which appears in the music video

Answer key:


That’s it for this week! I hope you enjoy this ELT song activity!

Big Love – The Black Eyed Peas



This ELT song activity is based on the song Big Love (The Black Eyed Peas) and it does NOT make use of the official music video  (some scenes it portrays may be shocking for most students, however if you consider it suitable for any specific class you have, use it at your own discretion.) 

In the activity, students talk about bullying, gun control, smart phones and war, read and share opinions about those topics, listen to the song, do listening exercises with a worksheet and the lyrics, scan QR codes, read and write a text for homework,

Language level: intermediate (B2) and above

Learner type: All ages

Skills: speaking, listening, reading & writing

Topic: current controversial issues

Language: Vocabulary related to bullying, guns, smartphones and war, expressions to agree, disagree and express opinions

Materials: cut out opinion + topic sheet + song activity Worksheet – smartphones or other digital device (tablet, laptop, etc) with a qr code reader app installed. Internet connection, wifi available for part 3.

Duration: 1 hour  (or 1h and 30 min if you have time to do step 9 in class + HW)

Downloadable materials: Big Love- instructions; cut-out opinion/issue sheet; song worksheet; song audio mp3


Preparation for the activity:

Download and print the cut-out opinion/issue sheet; cut out as indicated and laminate it to make the sets. Make 1 copy per pair or trio of students.  Download and print the song worksheet. 1 per student.


Step 1.  Warm up – WHOLE CLASS:: Write/ project the following issues on the board:


Ask students if they think there is a connection between the four topics and what it is, or ask them which of the four is the most important for society right now and why. Have a vote and write the number of students in front of the issues on the board.  (about 5 minutes)

Step 2. IN PAIRS or TRIOS. Hand out the opinion+issue set, one for each pair/trio of students.

There are 4 pairs of opposite opinions for each of the four issues (bullying, gun control, war, smartphones).

The students’ task is to match the topics with their correspondent opinions.

Step 3. after the pairs or trios have finished matching the opinions and the topics, they are going to talk about the opinions they agree more or disagree and give their reasons. (about 10 minutes – step 1+ step 2)

Step 4. After discussing  in pairs/trios, the students share their opinions with the whole class and have  a short plenary discussion.


Step 5. Individual task. Hand out the song worksheet. It has two exercises: in exercise one, students have to listen to the song and number the verses, lines of the song as they listen to it.

Answer key exercise 1:   4   b. 2   c. 1 d. 3

Step 6. Individual task. In exercise 2 they have the complete lyrics of the song with 10 words removed. Their task is to listen to the song and fill in the blanks in the song lyrics with the words given.

Answer key exercise 2:  

  1. Leaders  2. Fire 3. Americans  4. Young 5. Hands 6. Hope  7. Life 8. Global  9. Believe 10. Violence

Step 7: Back to their original pairs/trios, the students identify which parts of the song in exercise 1 correspond to the issues they discussed in part 1 (bullying, gun control, war, smartphones) and what opinion the song expresses.

Step 8. They share their opinions with the whole class


OBS: If there is no time available in class, steps 9 and 10 can be done for homework and handed in the following class.

Step 9. Students choose the issue they want to read about, scan the correspondent QR code on their worksheet and read an article about that issue on Newsela. This is an excellent Instructional Content Platform that supercharges reading engagement and learning in every subject. Your students will be asked to make a profile there to read the whole article, it is free and fast.

blog song 2 codes

Urls for the articles





Step 10. Homework. Students write a paragraph or two with their opinion about the article they read in the previous step for the following class. (word limit 50 – 80 words)
That’s it for this week! I hope you enjoy this ELT song activity.

Feel free to leave some comments if you wish, and let me know how the activity worked out in your classes.

Happy teaching! 🙂