“Fight Song”

Rachel Platten, 2015
Choose from the following activities:

  • Listening Listen to a recording of “Fight Song” without the lyrics. Students jot down five words in the song that they are sure they know. When the recording is finished, students volunteer their lists of words, and you write them on the board. My low-intermediate class contributed these words: smalloceanheartexplosionbrainvoicefightlifebelieve, and bones. Ask students to guess what the song is about. (Variation Rather than write down words, students draw pictures of things they hear mentioned in the song. Then they exchange papers with a partner and try to identify what their partner has drawn. This idea is from Nico Lorenzutti’s article “Beyond the Gap Fill: Dynamic Activities for Song in the EFL Classroom” (English Teaching Forum, Number 1, 2014). He says students often laugh and smile while trying to decipher their partner’s drawings.
  • Listening Listen to the song a second time while reading the lyrics. (Most Internet lyrics for this song are accurate.)
  • Post-Listening Read the high-beginning story behind the song, titled “Everybody’s Fight Song.” Permission is granted to reproduce for classroom use.
  • Post-Listening Watch the official music video for “Fight Song.” (The video depicts events in the story, so students should read the story behind the song first.)
  • Post-Listening Speak the chorus. Students read the chorus aloud, maintaining the rhythm of the song and emphasizing the syllables that are accented when the song is sung. (For more on this activity, please see Activity #6: Singing or Speaking the Chorus.)

This is my fight song–
Take back my life song,
Prove I’m all right song.
My power’s turned on.
Starting right now, I’ll be strong.
I’ll play my fight song.
And I don’t really care if nobody else believes
‘Cause I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me.

  • Post-Listening Draw-Write-Share: What Are You Fighting For? Students sketch someone or something they are fighting for. Under their drawing, they write a few sentences about their picture. Then they share their drawing and their writing with a partner or in a small group. (For more on this activity, please Activity #3: Class Discussion on a Song’s Theme.) My students, four women in their thirties, all drew pictures of their families. Here are some of the sentences they wrote under their drawings.
  • I am fighting to keep my family together.
  • I am fighting to learn English. I have to help my daughter. She needs help with her homework.
  • I am fighting to get a better job. If I reach my goal, I can provide a better life for my kids.
  • Post-Listening Read a story on the theme “I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me.” If you use the True Stories reading series, you could follow up with the story “The Champion” in True Stories in the News, about an Olympic hopeful who makes a comeback after losing his hand in an accident.