So, over a pint…or ten, a friend of mine and I came to the conclusion that if we were going to teach our teenage students grammar, we needed a way for it to stick in their head. We decided that if they had a catchy line / verse from a song for each grammar point they might actually learn it.
Whether or not we were right remains to be seen but what did happen was that we came up with a lot of quick and easy grammar lessons based on one verse / chorus of songs from a variety of genres. Over the next while, I’ll hopefully share some of these with you.
Here’s one that worked well with my Spanish teenagers. They really liked Coldplay…don’t judge me.
I used to Rule the world by Coldplay
I used to rule the world
Seas would rise when I gave the word
Now in the morning I sleep alone
Sweep the streets I used to own
Possible Quick Activities:
- Focus on pron
- Changing the words but keeping the rhythm.
- “used to” / “would” Guided discovery – see below
Possible Guided Discovery Questions:
- Does the singer rule the world now? When did he rule it? Was it just one brief action?
- Does he own the streets now?
- Can you find another word that has the same use as “used to”?
- How does the singer pronounce “I used to rule…”?
- Which word is stressed?
- How do they pronounced “would”? Is it stressed?
- These are short musical lessons that can break up a grammar lesson.
- With long term students, you can refer back to this if the language point arises again.
- The lyrics can be placed around the room to remind them.
- Students are encouraged to engage with the language and the culture. By fostering an interest in music inside the classroom, hopefully learners will go off and seek it out outside the classroom. The little taster of the song will hopefully whet their appetite.
- Songs are perfect for a bit of guided discovery as shown above.
3 thoughts on “Sing a song of Grammar, a pocket full of…hammers?”
I like it. Im going to try it with my teenagers this year, thanks.
Excellent, please let us know how it goes, and check out some of the other song lessons we have and see if they work. Songs are an interesting one as years ago, it seems they were much more in fashion in tefl, these days it seems they have been forgotten, but there is a lot you can do with them. Just like any other text.
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