10 things to do with this song….

Last week I twittered that I loved the song below so much that I might use it in class.  The song is quite hard to understand so working from the song alone would probably be too much for the class but there are two very good videos of the song on you tube, the official one (a stop-go animation / live action one) then this one made by a fan. The video is so liked by the singer that he has adopted it. This video is almost perfect for classroom room as it acts as a visual back up of the lyrics and also the pictures help with meaning.

There are many ways the song can be used but for me the song fitted into our ongoing theme of collocations and word associations as the song is full of words may well appear together (i.e. sheets and bed / pillow, head). So here’s what I did with and other things the song can be used for.

I made a wordle of all the pair words except one (i.e. I used an odd number of words).  If you like cutting up paper then you could do this as a matching exercise. Here are the lyrics. From the wordle the students had to choose pairs of word they thought would go together. The odd number means that there is an ‘extra word’. This increases the task difficulty and creates a second task  – what word can they think of to make a pair.  Having paired the words then they discuss as a group their choices.  Now play the video, asking them to listen and see if their answers were right (as I teach quite an advanced class , I first played the original video for challenge, they unsurprisingly got very few), after allowing time for them to makes changes to their ideas etc I then played the second video, this time of course they can  see the answers. We played it a few times for them to finalise their answers (i.e. confirm what they got right etc) and because they liked the song.   We then checked together. Being the class they, they needed no prompting to talk about the video but there are lots of things you could do as a follow up.

The song also lends itself to typical song activities such as gap-fill, cut up the order and reorder.  I am sure you can think of many ways to follow up the listening part but here are a few things that spring to mind

  1. Speaking – discuss if any of the things in the song make the students happy.
  2. Speaking – what makes students happy/ brings them down
  3. Speaking – play both videos then discuss them, which do they prefer two videos and then their favourite music videos
  4. Speaking – show them this clip from the jungle book, rumour is that the Paolo Nutini was influenced by it.  So the students discuss if they think this true or not
  5. Reading  – explore more about the singer at his website.
  6. Vocabulary / Structure  – Make your own ‘visuals’. Students think about their own line for the song and then make their own picture as in the video.
  7. Language – Use the song to introduce the structure, ‘I’ve got..’
  8. Task – Make their own wordle of things ‘they’ve got’
  9. Task – Make their own poster for a pop concert or of their own things ‘they’ve got’ on glogster.
  10. Make their own visual flashcard of vocabulary using a site like ‘quizlet’

And if they really like challenge, watch the video and see if they can spot the spelling mistake (pencil) and how may rogue capitals there are 🙂

Enjoy the song,


3 thoughts on “10 things to do with this song….

  1. Pingback: Teaching English through songs in the digital age – #ELTchat summary 12/01/2011 | #ELTchat

  2. Pingback: #ELTchat » Teaching English through songs in the digital age – #ELTchat summary 12/01/2011

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