“The Sound of Sunshine”

Michael Franti & Spearhead, 2010

Choose from the following activities:

  • Pre-Listening Read the story behind the song, titled “Sunshine in a Song,” which describes how the song came to be written in a hospital bed. For levels high beginning and up. Permission is granted to reproduce the story for classroom use.
  • Listening Listen to the song while reading the lyrics below, which are punctuated and annotated to facilitate comprehension.

sound of sunshine, lyrics.docx          sound of sunshine, lyrics.pdf

  • Post-Listening Watch the official video. It is not appropriate for all classrooms, so previewing is advised. A live performance, without the beach scenes, is appropriate for all classrooms.
  • Post-Listening Sing the chorus. It is in boldface in the lyrics above.
  • Post-Listening Write a Walking Dictation. (For step-by-step directions for a Walking Dictation, please see Activity #7: Walking Lyrics-Dictation.) Below is the student worksheet with nine phrases missing from the song (a cloze exercise), as well as a printout of the missing phrases for the teacher to post around the room.

sound of sunshine, cloze ex.docx          sound of sunshine, cloze ex.pdf

sound of sunshine, missing phrases.docx    sound of sunshine, missing phrases.pdf

  • Post-Listening Read another story with the “sunshine” theme. Story 2 in True Stories Behind the Songs, “Victor’s Private Guatemala,” is about a newcomer to New York suffering from lack of sunshine.