Hi everyone and welcome back to my blog! The song, I'm writing about today, "Gravity", is one of my favourite songs, while driving home, after a hard day at work, when I really need to calm down a little. I have often listened it sung by the young British singer Leo Stannard and the Italian pop singer Chiara Galiazzo (hence its popularity here in Italy), but I found out that the original version as well as the videoclip were performed by Stannard with an other British singer, Frances. Moreover I consider this hit appropriate for beginners who want to approach prepositions and phrasal verbs in English or simply revise the present, too.
The lyrics I have gone for today needs no presentation: I bet that your students already sing it and girls are simply crazy about Justin Bieber, i.e. the singer. The type of language is also basic and some lines are repeated more than two or three times, too. Therefore I thought to use it to reinforce students'skills about grammar as well as pronunciation.
I have taken an instant liking to "Freedom" by Pharell Williams, because it is a vibrant defense of personal rights and I'm positive that also young learners will agree with me! Seeing that the language is quite simple, it is absolutely proper for ESL beginners.
Grammar focus on: present simple/ imperative
Activity: fill in the gaps exercise (items provided)
I have loved this song since the first time I listened to it! As you can imagine, as a fresh mother, I am easily moved by lyrics that are about the relationship between parents and children and "I Lived" is a perfect summary of all the emotions, hopes and dreams that we share everyday.
I'm sure your students will appreciate the videoclip of this song, as it is centred on all the activities they wish to do once in their lifetime!
Grammar focus on: present simple
Activity: circle the right option. This activity would be perfect in case you're going to revise the use of -s for the third person of present simple.
Lyrics taken from: http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/onerepublic/ilived.html
Let's talk about: your relations with your parents. 1) What activities do you like to do with your parents? 2) What are the activities your parents are good at (or helpless at)? 3) Describe a special day that you spent with your parents.
Straight from Billboard Hot 100, we'd like to introduce to your class "Demons" by the emerging US rock band Imagine Dragons. This song may have a special meaning for you and your students, as it deals with the "inner demons" hidden inside everyone of us. After listening to the song and working on the worksheet, one interesting activity would be to watch the video clip together and discuss on personal fears, as suggested below. On the whole, the song's style is quite simple and you could plan it for beginners or pre-intermediate students. Level: beginner/pre-intermediate Grammar focus on: present simple Activity: fill-in the gaps (items provided) Demons Lyrics taken from: http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/imaginedragons/demons.html Video:
Let's talk about: personal fears. 1) After listening to the song, give your personal definition of "inner demons". Then check out on Macmillan Dictionary. 2) Watch the video clip and ask your students: what are the inner demons of the five fans who are enjoying the concert? 3)Work in pairs and list 3 things you are afraid of (please don't focus on personal tragedies, especially if you know that some of your students don't mean to talk about!). The purpose of this activity is to reuse some of the expressions learnt during the listening and possibly share personal experiences, in order to improve their self-esteem and mutual understanding, too.
The first time I watched "Rocket Ship" video by the Australian band San Cisco, I immediately thought this song could be perfect to improve students' speaking abilities. Firstly, it is centred on friendship and fun. Secondly, in watching the video students are led to amuse themselves. Thirdly, it is a good starting point to ask students to talk about some of the following aspects: bravado acts, bragging as well as their most favourite leisure activities.
In my opinion, you can plan a very simple lesson and propose it to students at any age or linguistic level.
Grammar focus on: verbs
Activities for a basic lesson plan:
brainstorming on the meaning of the title words of the lyrics;
watch the video;
write down at least five activities that young people doing in this video are enjoying ;
ask your students to recollect funny activities that they have shared with their peers as pair work;
listen to the song;
reorder the words given in scrambled order;
correct the exercise.
Later on, as follow-up activity, I would suggest to divide your class in small groups and collect pictures of their funniest moments as class (i.e. trips, after-school activities. creative projects, etc.).
After that, they can create a poster and write under each picture precise captions or brief descriptions of what they were doing there.
As a result, they won't simply enjoy themselves sharing opinions and comments but they will also improve their group identity as class and cooperation, too.
Welcome back everyone to our new school year! Since in these weeks students are getting ready to take up their activity once again, I thought to refresh part of their previous knowledge with a very simple listening, such as "True Love" by the great Pink.
The song is quite pleasing and easy to memorize and if you wish to use it in your classroom, you can refresh present simple in a very relaxing and amusing way.
Ready to listen to the hit of the moment?I have little doubt that "Get Lucky" by Daft Punk will be particularly cherished by teenagers as well as disco music lovers because it is quite catchy, easy to understand and fresh, isn't it? Level: beginner Grammar focus on: present simple vs. infinitive Activity: fill-in with the correct form of the verbs given between brackets Get Lucky Lyrics taken from: http://www.directlyrics.com/daft-punk-get-lucky-lyrics.html
Linguistic aspects: today I'd like to recommend you this significant site: http://www.idiomeanings.com/idioms/raise-the-bar/ where you will find the sense of the idiomatic expression "let's raise the bars", meaning that you are inviting someone else to set higher standards than the expected ones. An other interesting aspect is related to the expression: "I'm up all night to get lucky", used to say that you are eager to have an occasional sexual intercourse with someone you have just met.
P.S. By the way, don't miss Barack Obamba Singing 'Get Lucky', a hilarious mix of the speeches held by the US president as a parody of the well-known hit:
If you love fresh and innovative music, please keep an eye on Mr Asaf Avidan. His cosmopolitan upbringing along with the years spent travelling around the word are extraordinarily reflected on his "Love It or Leave It", which I am sure you will enjoy a lot! Level: beginner Grammar focus on: present simple vs. present continuous Activity: fill in the gaps (with base form of the verbs provided between brackets) Love It or Leave It
Linguistic aspects: why don't we brush up our knowledge on idioms today? This song is perfect to learn and practise some of them. Let's start from the title "Love It or Leave It" : elsewhere you can also find "Take It or Leave It",quite the same expression to be used when you have to accept or turn down an offer without any possibility of compromise. Secondly, you bite your tongue every time you have to refrain yourself from saying something unpleasant or annoying towards someone else. Thirdly, you roll up your sleeve if you decide to get down to work or do something, therefore activating yourself. In addition to this, there are also several verbs used metaphorically: a) you thunder your cries in case you say something with an angry or loud tone of your voice, b) reasons are strung if you mean that your intentions were not successful and to conclude c) waters are streaming any time you realize that events in your life are unfolding very fast.
"Stray Heart" has much of the vintage garage sound of the Green Day's debut album and it is absolutely catchy! Their lyrics are on the whole easy to understand and this one, a declaration of an impossible love, can be proposed at a very basic level of listening and comprehension.
Level: beginner Grammar focus on: present simple Activity: fill in the gaps with the verbs provided
Activity taken from: http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/greenday/strayheart.html Video:
Linguistic aspects: just a few comments on today's song. To start with, stray is both an adjective, meaning lost or homeless or separated from a group, and a verb. "I'll never stray again from you" is like "I won't move away from you ".
After being ill, you are expected to recover, i.e. to get stronger and become fit again. Besides you can recover your composure, when you restore your emotions again, after a big and touching surprise, or what's more, you can recover your consciousness, as soon as you take control of yourself.
Finally, let's focus on the expression to be destined for, used when you want to stress upon the fact that someone is intended for a particular activity or person, e.g. My husband was destined to serve our country.
The song that I'm going to talk about today is "Diamonds" by Rihanna. Namely I can assure you that it can wink at many teenagers, who have just started to study English, especially if they want to practice the basic rules of the English grammar. In fact, the song is quite simple, except for one expression, which will be analysed in the section Linguistic Aspects. Level: beginner Grammar focus on: simple present, imperative Activity: put the letters into the correct form Diamonds
Lyrics taken from: http://www.directlyrics.com/rihanna-diamonds-lyrics.html Video:
Linguistic aspects: as a very popular song once said, diamonds are a girl's best friends and here lots of verbs and expressions are related to light, brightness and passion. To start with, diamonds shine,but if you say that a person or thing shines through, it means that he/she or it is really rather noticeable. As everyone knows, a shooting star is a meteoroid that, after entering the atmosphere, becomes visible and soon vanishes. This is a metaphor that can be also used to describe someone's fortune. When you talk about a TV star, for instance, and you compare him/her to a shooting star, you are expressing a negative comment on the fact that his/her success is doomed to fade away quite soon. If you see eye to eye with someone, you agree with what he/she is thinking or saying. Finally, in Rihanna' s song the expression"as we, moonshine and molly" has been widely discussed by many linguists in several forums or sites. Litelly in fact, the word moonshine means in US English not only "an illegal type of alcoholic drink" but also "a silly remark", whereas the word molly is an informal word that stands for the purest form of ecstasy. All in all, I guess that it implies "alcohol and drugs" in the broadest sense.
As many psychological studies report, everyone of us is connected to anyone else by six degrees of separation. Incidentally, I came to know it by listening to The Scripts' "Six Degrees of Separation", where after the end of a relationship, it is said that one goes through six degrees of separation from his/ her former partner. I hope you will love this song, like I do, because it explores the theme of separation with a great variety of expressions, tones and feelings that are those normally involved in such difficult situations by common people!
Level: pre-intermediate Grammar focus on: vocabulary
Lyrics taken from: http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/t/the_script/six_degrees_of_separation.html
Linguistic aspects: when do you take a toke?You take a toke oryou toke on, when you pull on a cigarette, made of cannabis or tobacco.
You can heal your soul, if you try to make your sorrow less painful.When a relationship is over, you feel that it goes up in smoke. Literally, it means that a place or an object is destroyed by fire, but if related to a plan, it comes to nothing. Ex. I wanted to leave early for Rome, but getting up at 10 a.m. it went up in smoke. When you break up with someone, you can feel the world splits down the middle or collapse/ break down. Additionally you find/achieve/bring closure, i.e. you understand that something unpleasant has come to an end. How can you react to it?You can fake a smile, or smile in a false way, but in the end you have to fix yourself, that is to say that you need to make arrangements and organize your life back again. Who can help you in this process? The Script mention tarot cards, gems and stones because they can predict your future, but only, I would add, if you really believe in magic powers...