Justin Timberlake, 2016
This song is a good choice if you want to energize your class. My students applauded at the end of the official music video! Two of the activities are energizing, too, in that they get students up and out of their seats. (If you’re looking for more activities that get your students moving, please see my article “Back to the Future: Low-Tech Activities for a High-Tech Classroom.”)
The song is appropriate for most classrooms, but previewing the lyrics is advised.
Choose from the following activities:
- Listening Listen to a recording of the song while reading the annotated lyrics below. On most lyrics websites, the word wavy is transcribed as wavey, slang for drunk or high on drugs. Or maybe the word was simply misspelled. In any case, in the lyrics below it is transcribed as wavy, which makes sense in context and also makes the lyrics more classroom friendly. The lyrics below are intended for nonprofit educational use only.
- Post-Listening Watch the official video, which is appropriate for the classroom.
- Post-Listening Follow the video with the “Opinion, Please” activity. The official video for “Can’t Stop the Feeling” features people from Los Angeles dancing where they live and work. The video invites a discussion about how comfortable students would be with having a video of them posted on the Internet.
Structure the activity this way:
- On opposite ends of the board, in big letters, write YES and NO.
- Present the class with this scenario: Imagine that a friend took a video of you doing something you do very well–for example, dancing, playing soccer, singing, or cooking. Your friend wants to post the video on YouTube and asks your permission. What will you say–yes or no? Give students time to think about their answer or, better yet, to jot down the reason for their response.
- Students walk to the front of the room and stand next to the answer that reflects their opinion. Ask volunteers to explain why they chose that answer.
- Post-Listening Line up according to who is the best dancer. The song and video are all about dancing. Who in the class is good at dancing? Find out by asking your students to rate their dancing on this scale: excellent, good, OK, not very good, or terrible. Then have them line up according to their self-described talent in dancing, with the “excellent” dancers at one end and the “terrible” dancers at the other. To form the line, they need to ask one another: Are you a good dancer? This activity might lead to a discussion on what types of dancing students like to do and could even lead to an offer to demonstrate dancing skills. (Note: Personalizing the topic “dancing” to this degree might make some students uncomfortable. If you think it might make your students ill at ease, you would, of course, want to forgo this activity.)
- Post-Listening Practice using I’ve got it and I’ve got ’em. This song repeats the phrase I got many times. (In informal spoken English, people sometimes drop the ‘ve in I’ve got–they say I got.) In the interactive worksheets below, students practice saying I’ve got it and I’ve got ’em when going over a list of what they’ll take to a picnic, when traveling to Wisconsin, or when traveling to Hawaii. (These worksheets are 3 versions of the same activity–going over a checklist. I use the worksheet that’s most appropriate for the season and students I’m working with.) Permission is granted to reproduce for classroom use. Accompany the worksheet with this activity: Distribute common items (a comb, a pen, a magazine, etc.) to students, one item to each student. Ask students, “Who has the _________?” (For example, Who has the comb?) The student who has the item answers, “I’ve got it” and gives it back.
- Post-Listening Sing along. Never underestimate the power of motivation when assessing a song’s potential as a sing-along! I didn’t think this verse was particularly easy to sing, but my class loved singing it. It’s repeated twice.
I got that sunshine in my pocket
Got that good soul in my feet
Feel that hot blood in my body when it drops
I can’t take my eyes off of it, moving so phenomenally
Room on lock the way we rock it, so don’t stop