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.

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 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.

***October 2019***

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

***September 2019***

Worksheet, Present Perfect Progressive Tense. I noticed that the students in my advanced class were using the present perfect progressive tense interchangeably with the present perfect tense. So we did an activity with lots of examples of the present perfect progressive tense being used when the speaker wants to emphasize the duration of an activity that began in the past and continues into the present. I posted it on the Grammar + Songs page. Goes well with OneRepublic’s song “Counting Stars.” 9/19/19

Link to Video. This new performance of the Beatles song “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” from the 2019 movie Yesterday, has lots of instances of “want to” being pronounced “wanna”—a pronunciation rarely included in grammar books or practiced in the classroom, but common in spoken English. An interactive activity that gives students practice using “wanna” is on the Grammar + Songs page. 9/8/19

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 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.