Like many teachers of the English language (ELL, ESL, EFL), I like to enrich my lessons with popular songs. On this site, you’ll find:

  • A list of over 200 classroom-friendly songs, organized by theme
  • Song-based activities
  • Lesson plan ideas for songs in two categories: Recent Hits and Classic Hits
  • A Grammar + Songs page with worksheets and songs to pair with specific grammar topics
  • Stories behind the songs, written at the beginning and high-beginning levels and reproducible for classroom use. These stories are available only on this site and are not in the textbooks listed below. Some stories have audio recordings and pre-reading animated drawings.

The songs and activities coordinate with the lessons in True Stories Behind the Songs (a beginning reading textbook) and More True Stories Behind the Songs (a high-beginning reading textbook), but they would work with other materials and curricula as well.

Getting Updates:

  • Updates on Facebook: This site has a companion Facebook page, where I’ll post notifications of newly added songs, activities, and lesson plans.
  • Following this blog on WordPress: Many of you are now following this blog on WordPress, which means you will get email for every post. You’ll probably get clusters of individual emails because newly added material is usually posted on several different pages. The quickest way to see exactly what’s new is to check here on the Home Page or on the Recently Added page. New songs, activities, and lesson plans are also posted on Facebook.

***  June 2017 ***

Song and Lesson Plan. Rolling Stone magazine named The Beatles’ 1967 album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band the greatest album of all time. It’s been in the news recently because it is the 50th anniversary of the album’s debut, and a deluxe edition has been released. One of the songs on that album–”She’s Leaving Home”–works particularly well as a teaching tool. A grammar lesson can be built around the eight participial phrases in the song, and it’s a great springboard for writing and discussion activities. A lesson plan for “She’s Leaving Home” has been added under the “Lesson Plans” heading. 6/8/17

***  May 2017  ***

Song and Lesson Plan. It’s not easy to find a contemporary song that works for beginners. The song “Down,” about a woman who wants to go dancing, worked well in my class of adult learners. I told my students not to worry about understanding every word of the song. Instead, we focused on the grammatical structure of the repeated line “Are you down?” (meaning: “Do you want to do this?”)  I invited two higher-level classes to join us for the lesson, and it worked well as a multilevel activity.

Under the “Lesson Plans” heading, you’ll find a “Find Someone Who” activity that requires students to ask questions beginning Are you, an annotated lyrics cloze exercise focusing on the rhyming words in the song, and links to classroom-friendly videos. My students especially enjoyed watching the Apple commercial that made the song famous.

The song was added on the List of Songs page under the “Taking Chances” category. 5/21/17


To see the complete list of additions to this site, click on “Recently Added” on the navigation bar.

Do you have a suggestion for improving this site? A song or activity you’d like to share? Please e-mail me, Sandra Heyer, at songs@ticon.net. This is my personal e-mail address. Your address will not be shared, and you will not get ads or promotions of any kind.