Lesson Plan – Identifying Words in a Song

Assistive Listening Devices

Using songs

Songs are an effective way learn English because of many reasons:

  • Songs introduce authentic language .
  • They involve target language cultural aspects.
  • They can be used to teach various language points.
  • Using songs is a nice and joyful activity to foster listening skills.
  • Songs are fun.

To see why teachers should use songs in ELT read this previous post:

The materials needed are the following:

  • Find a suitable song for your class and have copies of the lyrics. (To find some interesting songs for your students go to this page: Songs and lyrics for EFL and ESL students)
  • A set of cards for each group of 5 students. Each set of cards contains about 20 words. Some of these words are taken from the song. The others are not, but are similar in meaning or sound to the words from the song.

The activity

  • Give each group the set of words.
  • Tell students that they have a few minutes to lay out the cards and decide what they think the song is about.
  • To  help students brainstorm, ask a few questions:
    • Do you think it’s sad or happy?
    • Is it a love song?
    • ‘Why? Which words make you think that?
  • Tell the students that in fact only some of these words are in the song, and that they’ll listen to the song to find out which.
  • If they hear one of the words, they should grab that card.
  • The students in each group should compete to grab as many correct words as possible.
  • They’ll get +1 point for correct cards and -1 point for wrong cards.
  • I play the song once for students to listen and ‘grab’.
  • I then ask students how many cards they’ve got. I hand out the lyrics and ask students to find their words.
  • The student with the highest number of points of each is the winner.

Follow up

As a follow-up you may use the lyrics for a variety of purposes, for example as a text for reading comprehension or language work, or for the class to sing together.

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