Five of my favourite lessons with a song

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“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything.” – Plato

It’s one of my favourite quotations about music. No wonder songs belong to the club of my helpers in the teaching process. While searching for songs to use in class, I try to find pieces whose lyrics convey a message of moral and can be used to teach useful vocabulary and grammar structures. What is more, some of the songs are like life stories. It doesn’t matter how old the song is – from my experience, teenagers and young adults seem to be open to the music of their parents and grandparents. Do not hesitate to use such in class. We do not have to focus only on the music they are familiar with. After all, they already know it. Still, we can open the door and show them the world of songs which may encourage the young generation to reach for music that will let them develop. Why don’t you try and bring the idea into effect?
Below you will find five lesson plans I have created so far. They are mostly aimed to help your students to:

  • learn new words and phrases and revise the ones they already know
  • develop their ability to listen for the gist and for specific information
  • practice some grammar structures
  • think, deduce and conclude
  • work in groups, have fun and feel motivated


‘Cat’s in the Cradle’ by Harry Chapin






‘Don’t Cry Joni’ by Conway Twitty






When people hate people – lesson plan which includes ‘Strange Fruit’ by Billie Holiday

(this lesson covers a very serious and difficult subject; recommended for mature students)






‘Color of Your Life’ by Michal Szpak






‘Mad about the boy’ by Jessica Biel

(you may use it on Valentine’s Day)

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