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 hundreds of classroom-friendly songs, organized by theme, along with links to recommended YouTube videos
- 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 to low-intermediate levels. Some stories are on this site, and some are on the Pearson catalog site (audio only), no registration or password required.
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.
- 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 a notification for every post. You’ll probably get clusters of individual notifications because new 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.
Grammar Worksheet. The song “Someone You Loved” has repeated examples of infinitives and infinitive phrases used as adjectives (somebody to know, somebody to heal, no one to save me, etc.), so I decided to focus my intermediate-level students’ attention on that construction. The worksheet we did in my classroom, as well as annotated lyrics, are on the Grammar + Songs page under “Infinitives as Adjectives.” (Previewing the lyrics of this song is recommended; some content may not be appropriate for your class.) 11/7/19
Lesson Plan. Based on the melody of Pachelbel’s Canon, Maroon 5’s new song “Memories” was written in memory of the band’s manager and close friend, who died in 2017. The song has a few grammatical mistakes (mainly dropping the final s in third person singular) that can be exploited for a grammar lesson. A lyrics worksheet is on the Grammar + Songs page under “Third Person Singular.” The song also works well as a springboard for a discussion about people that were important parts of our lives. Some ideas for structuring the discussion are in the Lesson Plan for the song.
Note: The lyrics mention “drinks,” but not specifically alcoholic drinks. Teachers who avoid songs that refer to alcoholic beverages may find this reference vague enough to be acceptable, but only individual teachers can make this judgment. 10/28/19
Updated List of Songs. When I first started bringing music videos into my classroom a couple of years ago, I discovered pretty quickly the necessity of carefully previewing them. Sometimes the song was appropriate for the classroom, but its music video was not. I had some time over the summer, so I updated the List of Songs by Theme and added dozens of links to classroom-friendly videos. 10/1/19
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 email@example.com. This is my personal e-mail address. Your address will not be shared, and you will not get ads or promotions of any kind.