Here’s a two-week-long music-related lesson that, thanks to my extraordinary colleague, Alma Avalos, was a very successful one that took about a week. It includes all the domains — listening, reading, writing and speaking.

First, students were introduced to the Black-Eyed Peas song, “Where is the love?” (lyrics video embedded below). The song is sung fairly fast but, just like the saying goes that the best book for a student is not one on their lexile level but, instead, one they want to read, the same hold true for a introducing a popular song.

Students were given copies of the lyrics, asked to highlight new words, which were reviewed in class. They also practiced the song in the wonderful Lyrics Training site.

Students also practiced reading the lyrics out loud. Once comprehension was solid, it was time for Step Two.

, they began completing this Where Is The Love? worksheet. It includes a number of questions and tasks, including picking ten of their favorite lines, translating them into their language, and explaining why they chose the lyrics and what feelings they generated.

Third, Students used the online tool Canva to create an online poster of those ten favorite lyrics, using images to help illustrate their meaning. You can see some of their creations here.

All of the previous tasks made up the first section of the unit lesson. Now it was time for students to apply what they learned to higher-order and more complex tasks.

First, students were asked to choose their favorite song that had classroom appropriate lyrics, and then to complete this form, which included choosing their favorite ten lines.

Secondly, they went back to Canva and created a similar slideshow to their first one — this time, though, using the lines from their song. You can see student examples here (the first one or two links might be for the Where is the Love? song, but the rest are for their favorite songs).

Thirdly, students presented their Canva slideshow, explained in what the lyrics meant, and showed a video of their song.

Students really enjoyed the unit and, as you can see, it was filled with high-interest language-development activities.

It was a great piece of work by Alma!

If we had more time, we would have had the students choose one of the favorite songs and practice singing a portion of it as a group. Then, as we’ve done before, they would have performed for our ELL Intermediates (see how that worked before at Singing, Recording & Authentic Audiences For English Language Learners).

But the school year is ending soon, and we couldn’t afford to use any more time on the unit.

Feel free to offer suggestions on how you think we could have made it better!

I’m adding this post to:

The Best Music Websites For Learning English

The “All-Time” Best 2.0 Tools For Beginning English Language Learners
(because of our use of Canva)