Most of you are very familiar with my Canción de la Semana that I post weekly, but this week I thought I would post a list of ideas on how to use these songs in class.
Here are my ideas:
1. Cloze activities: These can be great ways to have the students listen to the lyrics to the song and try to figure out the missing lyrics and/or what the lyrics mean.
2. Act out stanzas: I like to divide my class into groups according to the number of stanzas in the song. Then I tell them that they need to act out their stanza. Sometimes I will bold words I want them to concentrate on, other times I will give them the freedom to choose what they want to act out in that stanza. Then, we will play the song again and each group will get up when their stanza comes on and act out what they came up with.
3. Whiteboards (words I know): Sometimes I have my students write down the words that they recognize when they hear the song played. Then, we discuss as a group the words they know. For a competitive twist, you can give a prize to the student with the most words he/she recognized.
4. Whiteboards (words I don’t know): This works like #3, but instead they write down the words they do not know. Then, we can discuss as a group what they might mean OR have them turn to peers and see if their peer might know the word/words.
5. Draw it: Have the students draw a stanza, line, or the song as a whole.
6. Music video: I love songs with music videos, but not all songs have appropriate videos to show to kids. When this happens, it can be really fun to have the students create a music video for the song. You can work as a class or have them work in groups. This can be super simple and take less than a class, or you can give them this to do as a project. It all depends on how much time you want to spend on that song.
7. Sing with an accent!: Kids might not be very pumped to sing in front of their peers, but they do get excited when you give them room for creativity. I like to divide my class into groups or split the class in two. Then, I will write accents/voices down on cards and put them in a hat. Some of these include:
Then, they have to sing a part of the song in that accent/voice. I really enjoy hearing them sing a song in Spanish in a British accent! It’s a lot harder than it sounds.
8. Share opinions: After playing the song, students can turn to their partner and discuss what they thought of the song, what they thought the meaning was, and their favorite/least favorite part.
9. What’s the singer like?: Sometimes before showing them the music video, I will play the song and then ask them questions about the singer/group. I might ask them what he/she looks like, how old he/she is, and even where he/she is from. This helps tie in phrases they might be practicing and can be really fun to hear their thoughts before actually seeing what the singer/group is really like.
10. Write the next verse: For a bigger challenge, it can be fun to have them write the next verse of the song if the song kept going. This can be a bit more challenging and is probably better for higher students, but even beginners can add on with basic verses.
What do you do with songs in class?