A Five-Minute Activity to Bring Music into the Classroom

Wouldn’t you like to be listening  to the latest hit on the radio and find out that you are able to understand the lyrics? Wow!!! Don’t you, every now and then,  sing along even though you can only remember some  of the words from the chorus and you don’t have the slightest clue about what it means? I’m sure you do! We have all been there!

But time flies and the course is short  and even though I feel listening to a song can be as good as doing a traditional listening comprehension exercise  the truth is that dedicating 20 minutes to a song never seems to fit into my lesson plan .

The idea is to bring music into the class as often as possible but without this activity taking too much time off my lessons. My focus in this five- minute-maximun activity will be on teaching  vocabulary – a structure , an idiomatic expression, a phrasal verb or a certain word. The idea is to help students  improve their listening skills and pronunciation, as well as teaching vocabulary.

In this song, we focus on the verb “to try”.


♥Orally introduce the word you want students to learn by giving examples and asking them to infer the meaning. In the case of the verb “to try” I might want to teach the structure: Try+inf

♥Choose a song that contains the word or words you want to teach

♥Crop the video with, for example, tubechop; remember you don’t want to play the whole song .

♥First time: Students listen to the cropped video and identify when, in the song, the highlighted word(s) has been used -they can raise their hand when they hear the target word(s) .

♥ Second time: students do a fill- in- the- gaps exercise or a spot- the -mistakes exercise with the lyrics.

♥ Third time: students sing along; yes, why not? It’s  a very good pronunciation exercise!!!

♥ HOMEWORK: Now, very important, students need to go home and write a sentence containing the highlighted word(s). Ask for volunteers to translate the cropped song .

My Fill in the Blanks


Ever _____ about what he’s doing
How it all turned to ______
__________ I think that it’s better to never ask why

Where there is ____
There is gonna be a flame
Where there is a flame
____ bound to get burned
But ______ because it burns
Doesn’t mean you’re gonna _____
You’ve gotta _____ and try try try
Gotta ……

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2 thoughts on “A Five-Minute Activity to Bring Music into the Classroom

  1. That’s a great exercise because students usually show more interest and motivation when they can learn through songs and movies.

    That’s why I include a section in my blog for songs. As for movies, I’m working on a site to cover that area. Hopefully, it will be up and running by January 2015.

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