Can We Pretend – P!nk feat. Cash Cash

can we pretend

This ELT song activity is based on the song ‘Can We Pretend” by P!nk feat. Cash Cash and its Lyric video. Students answer Have You Ever questions with, do a matching exercise with vowel sounds and diphthongs, listen to the song and put the words in order.

Language level: Pre-intermediate (A2+ - B1) and above
Learner type: All ages
Skills: speaking, reading, listening, pronunciation (vowel sounds and diphthongs)
Topic: Experiences and Pretense
Language and Grammar: Vocabulary related to experiences, Present Perfect tense
Materials: Youtube video, worksheet and mp3 file
Duration: 1 hour 
Downloadable materials:  instructions; Vowel sound worksheet; song mp3

PART 1 – Warm Up + Have you ever…? (Is it real or just pretending?)

Important information:

This warm-up uses a free online spinner tool that allows you to create your own digital wheels for decision-making – more info here. However, this can be substituted. (See step 2.).

The teacher must also have a list of possible Have you ever questions and follow-up questions in hand.

Example questions:
– Have you ever been on TV? When? Why?
– Have you ever broken a bone? How did it happen?
– Have you ever ridden a horse or another animal? give us details
– Have you ever forgotten someone’s birthday? What happened?
– Have you ever received a gift that you did not like? What was it?
– Have you ever fallen asleep in class or at work? Did you get in trouble because of if?
– Have you ever been in a car accident? How did it happen?
– Have you ever tried an extreme sport? How did you feel?

Step 1.

A student comes to the board. Explain to him/her he/she is going to answer a question according to what the wheel dictates! If the wheel says yes, he/she has to pretend they really did that activity and invent details. Tell them to do their best to be convincing. After the student answers, the class is going to vote if it was real or just pretense!

Step 2.

The teacher asks a Have you ever question and with the help of a magic pen or the mouse, the student spins this wheel. (in our school we use a white board with a projector connected to a computer with Internet access).  The options are just YES or NO. OBS:  As an alternative to, you can use a die (even numbers meaning yes, odd numbers, no), or a coin (heads means yes, tails means no).

Step 3.

The student answers the question according to the wheeldecide (or coin/die) and the teacher then asks follow-up questions (only if the answer was ‘yes’.).

Step 4.

After the student answers, the teacher asks the rest of the class if they think the student was telling the truth or just pretending.

Step 5.

The student says if it was true or just pretense.

Step 6.

Have another student come to the front to answer another question according to the wheel (or die/coin). This can go on for about 15 – 20 min. or as long as it is still fun for the students to do it!

PART 2 –  Vowel Sounds & Diphthongs Worksheet

Step 7.

Hand out the worksheet and quickly review the vowel sounds and diphthongs. Show the symbols on the table and have students repeat the model words.

Tell students that they are going to work with 10 words from the song “Can We Pretend” by Pink and Cash Cash. Their task is to put the words in the box in their appropriate places in the phonetic table:

Answer key exercise A

(see) /iː/   feeling
(go) /əʊ/ nowhere
(my)   /ɑɪ/ sometimes
(say)          /eɪ/ conversations
(saw) /ɔː/   walked
(cat)   /æ/ daddy
(sit) /ɪ/ pictures  



(two) /uː/ dudes

PART 3 – Listening

Step 8.

After checking the answers, divide students into small groups. They are going to listen to the song and order the words they worked with in exercise A, according to the order they appear in the song.

Step 9. Play the lyric video for students to watch and check their answers

Answer key Exercise B

Conversations ( 1    )
Daddy (  6 )
Dudes ( 10   )
Feeling (  8 )
Lips (  9 )
Miss ( 7    )
Nowhere (  3 )
Pictures (  2 )
Sometimes  ( 4 )
Walked (  5 )

That’s it for this week! I hope this activity is helpful and enjoyable!

Happy teaching!  🙂

Better Man – Westlife

westlife still


This short and fun ELT song activity is based on the song “Better Man” by Westlife. Students talk about Music, work in small groups, listen to the song and order a set of words according to the order they are sung. As an optional extension (part 3), students watch the music video and do a speaking exercise.

Language level: Basic (A2) and above
Learner type: All ages
Skills: Listening, group interaction, collaboration, teamwork
Topic: Music, simple vocabulary
Language: group interaction
Materials: cut-out worksheet, and mp3 file (youtube video - optional)
Duration: 20 - 30 min (without part 3)
Downloadable materials:  instructions;  cut out worksheet; song mp3

PART 1 – Warm-up – Intro

Step 1. Ask students if they have heard of the band Westlife. They have reunited after a long time and have launched a song written by Ed Sheeran.  Get a general count of how many students know Westlife, and who likes the band as well as Ed Sheeran. Tell them they are going to work with one of the songs he wrote for the band.

PART 2 Word Order Competition

Step 2. Tell students they are going to work with a song in a different way.

Step 3. Divide the class into trios (or groups of four, depending on the number of students)

Step 4. Have students sit in a circle, and hand out the word sets you printed, cut and paste in advance (one per group). Students should spread them in the middle of their circle so they can be easily sorted out by any member of the team during the activity

Step 5. Explain the activity to the groups. As they listen to the song the first time, they should put the words in the order they are sung. OBS. tell them there is one extra word which is not in the song. If any group identifies it right, they can get an extra point as a bonus!

Step 6 When the song is over, play it the second time, they should check their work, and make changes to the order of the words if they want to. (sometimes a third play may be necessary for a final check before they show you their word order)

Step 7 check the word order of the groups. The one closest to the right order wins.

01 - MOVIE  02 - CRAZY 03 - WHY  04 - THINGS  05- ANGEL  06 - EVERYONE 07 - DREAMS  08 - DOWN 09 - MOUTH  10 - FEEL
MAKE (the extra word for the extra bonus point)

PART 3  Youtube Video (optional)

Step 8. Tell students they are going to watch the music video for “better man” and they must pay attention to what happens in the video.

Step 9.  In pairs, students talk about what they understood from the story and later share with the class.

That’s it for this week! I hope this activity is helpful and enjoyable!

Happy teaching!  🙂

Song Lottery & Writing Emails



This ELT song activity is based on the song “Older” by Sasha Sloan and its official music video. Students talk about family, play a song lottery game, watch a video and write an email.

Language level: B1 and above
Learner type: All ages
Skills: speaking, reading, listening and writing
Topic: family
Language: Vocabulary related to family, expressing opinions and writing e-mails
Materials: Youtube video, worksheet, and mp3 file
Duration: 1 hour - 1h 30 min

Downloadable materials:  instructions; song lottery worksheet; song mp3

PART 1 – A PERFECT FAMILY? (Pairwork discussion)

Step 1. Start by asking the whole class:

Is there such a thing as a ‘perfect” family? Does this exist? What would a perfect family be for you?

Have students discuss their ideas in pairs (about 2 min) and then share the answers with the whole class, have everybody participate by asking other students if they agree/disagree and why.

PART 2 – SONG LOTTERY (reading)

Step 2. Tell your students they are going to work with a song in which the singer sings about her family problems, and that in the first part of this activity they are going to play a “song lottery”! In this lottery, instead of choosing numbers, they are going to choose the words they think the singer will sing.

Step 3. Hand out the song lottery worksheet and give the students some time to choose their ‘winning words”. They should fill out their lottery tickets and cut them out to give you before you play the song to check the winner (s) of the lottery.

Step 4. After everybody has handed you their tickets, play the song and students check if their choices were the right one. The winner of the lottery is the one who guessed all the words right! (you can stipulate a prize for the winner eg. a chocolate candy bar, candy, etc. If nobody wins, you can tell them the prize will be accumulated for the next song lottery in one future class!

ANSWER KEY (winning words)

01. screamed 02. right 03. swore 04. a kid 05. the more 06. heroes 07. loving 08. mad 09. better 10 wonder


Step 5. (whole class) Ask students to tell you what they think the music video for the song is going to be like. Get some answers, then show them the music video for “older” by Sasha Sloan

Step 6. Ask the students if the video was the way they imagined and tell you what they thought about it.

Step 7. (writing an email) Tell your students to imagine they are the singer and write an email to her parents translating the feelings in the song into written words.

Variation: Students imagine they are the singer’s parents and write an email to her in reaction to the song

That’s it for this week! I hope you all have a fun time using this activity with your students!

Happy teaching! 🙂

Song Pieces! Adding Novelty to ELT

plant-949111_640        Image by Thomas Breher from Pixabay   
Introducing a new, fun and original ELT activity, SONG PIECES! containing short song extracts from which students have to listen to specific things in the song lyrics.

In this ELT song activity students work in teams and listen to 10 different short song extracts and have to identify different grammar structures and vocabulary in each one.

Language level: all levels
Learner type: All ages
Skills: listening and writing
Topic: varied
Language and grammar: prepositions, clothes, adjectives, parts of the house, frequency adverbs, comparatives, superlatives, simple past verbs, colors, numbers, will future
Materials: edited mp3 files for the songs used 
Duration: 20 - 30 minutes

Downloadable materials:  instructions; Song Extracts (mp3 files) 


Step 1. Divide students into pairs or trios, and tell them they are going to listen to various extracts of songs and in each one, they have to listen to different things and write them down on a blank sheet of paper.

Step 2. Before playing each extract, say what you want the students to listen to and make sure they know it. In order to do that ask them if they can give you examples of the words they must listen to.

Step 3. Tell them they have 3 chances to try to get the right word. Then, play the first extract 3 times and they write down the answer for number 1.

Step 4. Check what the teams wrote down and assign points. (1 for each right word, if there is more than 1 word in the recording)

Step 5. Repeat steps 2, 3, 4 for the next song extracts. The team with more points, in the end, is the winner!

Things to be found in each song extract:
Song 1: prepositions   (answer: behind/ under) 
Song 2: something people wear (answer: shoes)
Song 3: an adjective (answer: easy)
Song 4: parts of a house (answer kitchen/bathroom)
Song 5: an adverb of frequency (answer: never)
Song 6: verbs in the past (answer: said/ started / saw/ knew/ got) variation 1: comparative (answer: older); variation 2: part of the body (answer: shoulder)
Song 7: adverb of frequency (answer: always); variation 1: colors (answer: black / blue);  variation 2: verbs in the future (answer: I will fight/ I will stay)
Song 8: a superlative (answer: best); variation: adjectives (answer: happy / good / crazy)
Song 9: a number (answer seven); variation: verb in the present continuous (answer: I’m driving)
Song 10: a comparative (answer: bigger)

Songs featured in this activity:
Song 01 - Ease My Mind - Ben Platt
Lyrics key: Darling, only you can ease my mind
Help me leave these lonely thoughts behind
When they pull me under, and I can feel my sanity start to unwind
Darling, only you can ease my mind

Song 02 - Not giving In - Tom Walker
Lyrics key: I don't pretend to understand
What it's like, stood in your shoes
But I would try them on for you
'Cause I hate to see you fade away
On the corner where you lay
Beggin' passers-by for change

Song 03 - Someone you loved - Lewis Capaldi
Lyrics key: I need somebody to heal
Somebody to know
Somebody to have
Somebody to hold
It's easy to say
But it's never the same
I guess I kinda liked the way you numbed all the pain

Song 04 - Let me down slowly - Alec Benjamin
Lyrics key: This night is cold in the kingdom
I can feel you fade away
From the kitchen to the bathroom sink and
Your steps keep me awake
Don't cut me down, throw me out, leave me here to waste
I once was a man with dignity and grace
Now I'm slipping through the cracks of your cold embrace
So please

Song 05 - After You - Meghan Trainor
Lyrics key: Won't be anybody after you
And even if one day, our time is through
Won't be anybody after you
After you
I'll never find another lover after you
If you have to go, be my ghost
Hope you haunt my dreams

Song 06 - Fire on Fire - Sam Smith
Lyrics key: My mother said I'm too romantic
She said, "You're dancing in the movies"
I almost started to believe her
Then I saw you and I knew
Maybe it's 'cause I got a little bit older
Maybe it's all that I've been through
I'd like to think it's how you lean on my shoulder
And how I see myself with you

Song 07 - Don’t give up on me - Andy Grammar
Lyrics key: I will fight
I will fight for you
I always do until my heart
Is black and blue
And I will stay
I will stay with you

Song 8 - Thick and Thin - Lany
Lyrics key: What are you thinking?
You were happy last weekend
All the good times
How'd you forget?
I was your best friend, yeah
Remember when you said
You could see your whole life with me baby
Now you got me thinking that I'm crazy

Song 09 - Seven Minutes - Dean Lewis
Lyrics key: It doesn't seem that long but my whole world has changed
It's in all the little things, when you smile, now it stings
It's been seven minutes since I've lost the girl of my dreams
It's been half an hour now since I dropped you home
And I'm driving past the places we both know
Past the bar where we first kissed
And that movie that we missed
'Cause we were hanging out in the parking lot

Song 10 - Got it in You - Banners
Lyrics key: You gave all that sweat and blood,
Now you think you're gonna drown
You can't tell that you're bigger
Than the sea that you're sinking in
And you don't know what you
Got but you got it at your fingertips

That’s it for this week! I hope you all enjoy this new activity! 
Happy teaching!  :) 





















Come Out and Play – Billie Eilish


This is an ELT video and song activity based on the Apple ad  Holiday - Share Your Gifts featuring Billie Eilish’s song Come out and Play and also the video ‘Holiday - how I create music on IMac and IPhone’, in which students talk about talents; find common ideas connecting quotes about talent and sharing; watch a video ad and play a memory game with questions about it; do a listening exercise with another video in which the singer talks about creating music; listen to the song and put the lyrics in order

Language level: Pre-Intermediate (B1) and above

Learner type: All ages

Skills: speaking, reading & listening

Topics: talent and music

Language: Vocabulary related to talent and skills, expressions to agree, disagree and express opinions

Materials: Youtube videos, video activity Worksheet, cut-out song lyrics worksheet and mp3 file

Duration: 1h -  1h 30 min 

Downloadable materials:  instructions; worksheet part 3; song mp3; cut-out song slips part 4


Part 1 – Warm Up / Quotes

Step 1. Play hangman with the word 'talent'.
Write on the board T ___ ___ ___ ___ ___

Step 2. After the game, ask students to share some of the talents they have (whole class)

Step 3. Write or project the following quotes on the board:

1- “The more you share, the more you receive to share.” Lailah Gifty Akita
2- “Don’t hide yourself. Stand up, keep your head high, and show them what you got!” Joe Mari Fadrigalan
3- “The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away”
Pablo Picasso

step 4. Ask students to read them and (individual task) think about their meaning carefully and find out if there is a connection between the quotes, and what it is.

Step 5. After 1 or 2 min, have students share their ideas in pairs (2 min)

Step 6. Have the pairs express their opinions to class and ask if the other students agree/disagree and why

Part 2 – Apple Ad video -Holiday Share your gifts

Step 7. Tell students they are going to watch a video. They should pay attention to the story to answer some “memory” game questions about it (divide the class into pairs or trios).

Memory Game Questions: 1. what color sweater was the girl wearing in the first scene of the video? (Red) 2. What 7-letter word is written on her laptop cover? (Supreme) 3. What is her occupation (baker) 4. What color is her uniform at her job? (Green) 5. What did she draw on the bus window? (Glasses) 6. What color is the box she keeps her paper sheets in? (Green) 7. What musical instrument does she have? (A piano)

Part 3 – Video 2:  How I Create Music on iMac and iPhone ft. Billie Eilish


Students watch the video and answer the question:
What does Billie Eilish compare music to? (emotion)

Step 9.  Hand out the Worksheet - part 3. Students watch the video again and fill in the gaps in the transcript. Play the video twice. And check the answers as a class. Answer key: Billie: I'm Billie Eilish. Finneas: I'm Finneas. Billie: And this is how we create a song from scratch. Music is emotion. I feel like, every song, I know, sounds like an emotion I've felt. it's like how could I make a song that sounds like the way that this light looks. I think that's really weird to think about, but it's more interesting for me that way. Like, it doesn't have to rhyme; it doesn't have to make sense; ['cause] it's just words. Sometimes I need to create something out of it. Finneas: Once we understand the narrative, [that] we can flesh out a song behind it. First guitar, then vocals, then that 808 sort of... Logic is really easy to have fun in and I think having fun in a program is how you get better. Billie: I think you have to force yourself sometimes. just put it out there, and if it flops, it flops. But who cares? At least you're doing what you want to be doing.

Part 4 (extra) lyrics

The Lyrics were divided in 12 slips of paper (print, cut out and laminate)
Step 10. Divide students into groups of 4 (or fewer students per group, depending on the number of students) and give 1 set of cut out lyrics four group.
Students listen and put the lyrics in order
Play the song as many times as necessary. The first team to get the lyrics in the right order wins!

Answer KEY (correct order):
10 - 09 - 11 -12 -01- 03- 08- 06- 05- 04- 02- 07

That’s it for this week and for 2018!

We’ll be back in January to continue providing free high quality ELT song activities for teachers all over the world!

I hope you all have wonderful holiday celebrations, and that in 2019, you have the wisdom and energy to fulfill cherished dreams and achieve amazing goals!