The Bear and the Hare – a Christmas lesson plan

Take an occasionally controversial singer out of a short, self-imposed retirement, give her a Keane song to cover, add a bear, a hare and a beautifully crafted Christmas cartoon, mix with some activities focussing on listening, speaking and vocabulary development, and you have our Christmas lesson plan for this year.

Click here for the Teacher’s Notes.

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The Tea Song

For our second tea-themed post this month, we have another break-up, but this time all is well as there’s a cuppa at hand for the spurned lover. It’s a catchy song from a very funny ad that was filmed in just one take. Watch out for the zombie ending…

Click here for the Teacher’s Notes.


Be Wonderful and Wise

 Our first post of the autumn term is based on an advert containing an assortment of food and cooking vocabulary, ranging from the familiar to the almost certainly unknown, unless students have spent hours in front of the TV watching Masterchef in English. Activities include observing, listening, vocabulary development, speaking, and to finish off, a song – if you haven’t had enough of it by then. All together now – chop, chop,chop,chop, chopping…….

Click here for the Teacher’s Notes


Marry You

Could this be the best marriage proposal ever? Featuring the world’s first live lip-dub proposal, this video has gone viral with millions of views since it was uploaded less than a month ago.

Students start the lesson with a vocabulary and writing activity using a word cloud made up of the lyrics to Marry You before listening to the song Bingo-style. They then work together to design a video to accompany the song, going over the top on the romance, and present their ideas to the rest of the class, who vote on the most romantic (or the most clichéd). Lastly, they get to find out what the world’s first live lip-dub proposal is and go home to listen to the song again on the expert setting at lyrics training

Click here for the Teacher’s Notes.


Inside Every Good Dog

Horace by Rob Stringer

During first day “getting to know you” activities in my classes, the subject of dogs usually comes up. Like many teachers, I bring in photos related to my life for one reason or another and ask students to guess the connection. One of the photos is of a dog. After establishing that it’s the dog I would have if I were to get a dog, I ask students who has a dog, who likes dogs etc., and more often than not, dog owners and dog lovers make up the majority of the class. And that’s the topic of dogs done and dusted. We move on to the next photo, I make a mental note to get more mileage out of dogs, and never get round to it. Until now.

This lesson is based on an advert for Purina, a pet food company, which may make the dog lovers in your class have a “cute attack” or even go a little bit misty-eyed! The lesson starts by exploiting the the song used in the advert , then the images, and finishes off with a ranking activity and some conversation. All the way through, there are lots of opportunities to use both canine and non-canine related vocabulary.

Click here for the Teacher’s Notes..


Hello

This lesson starts off with a brilliantly edited video mash-up; Dutch filmmaker Matthijs Vlot took Lionel Richie’s 1984 hit Hello and mashed it up with short clips from a number of Hollywood films so that the words in the clips synch perfectly with the song lyrics.

Students have to count, chat, listen and write in class before going home to watch the original video of the song, which was voted worst music video of all time in a survey by music channel The Box. In the next class, students say what they thought of the video and then watch the Starburst commercial (just because it’s funny).

Hello Teacher’s Notes


Eye in the Sky

Joe Cocker’s version of  “With a little help from my friends” is widely considered by music critics to be the greatest-ever cover version. For our first post of 2012, we ‘ve gone for a radical revision of “Eye in the Sky” by Noa, she of the hauntingly beautiful voice. The original, of course, was by The Alan Parsons Project. Which will your class prefer? There’s also a lovely lead-in to see how much attention you and your students actually pay to the lyrics of your favourite songs…

Eye In The Sky Teacher’s Notes


| ˈaɪ ˈʃʊdə nəʊn ˈbetə |

This song has long been a guilty pleasure, and one that I feel I can admit to now that a reasonable amount of time (27 years!!)  has gone by. I originally just thought of using it for the nice chunks of colloquial language it contains, but then realised I could exploit it for  pronunciation purposes. Specifically, for those  “shoulda, coulda, woulda” phrases that students often have such difficulty saying quickly and convincingly. But of course it would also be a crime to use this song and not discuss the hilariously sartorially-suspect low-budget video……

There are two versions of the worksheet. This one uses translation from L1 to L2 in the first activity, in this case Spanish to English:

I shoulda known better Teacher’s notes L1 version

I shoulda known better Student Worksheet L1

And this is the English-only version:

I shoulda known better Teacher’s notes L2 version

I shoulda known better Student Worksheet L2


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