“Music is the universal language of mankind.” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Music appeals to students of all ages and is a great way to engage learners. Try introducing a topic or novel with a song that captures the mood or provides insights. Try having your young learners remember vocabulary through hand gestures, while singing songs (Total Physical Response). Get students to memorize important facts by singing songs about a certain moment in history. Your students can also learn about various cultures and traditions by exploring music from different countries and decades. Language learners enhance their English speaking, listening, reading and writing skills by exploring and reciting songs. Below are lesson ideas, resources, web tools and apps to get you started with integrating music into your curriculum. Feel free to download the slides of my webinar, Music to My Ears: Learning with Songs. Keep scrolling to access the bookmarks.
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Find lesson plans based on songs at these sites:
Songs and Lyrics that Teach
- FluencyMC (Jason Levine) has several Hip Hop and rap videos, in which, students learn English. Check out Jase’s free song lyric book.
- BusSongs has many different videos and songs for children.
- Soundcloud.com/freshprep is a channel of Hip Hop songs that teach English, History, and more!
- Soundcities is full of sounds recorded around the world that students can remix. They can also contribute their own sounds to the database.
Learn from Song Lyrics
- The most famous sites for students to learn English with song lyrics, include LyricsTraining and TuneintoEnglish.
- Check out the resources David Deubel has created for teaching students with the Dubsmash app here.
- Students can guess songs by viewing word clouds of the lyrics. Two great sites, include Guess the Lyrics Word Clouds and Sporcle.
- Students can create lyrical flowcharts like this one of Hey Jude. They can use an infographic tool like Piktochart, Easel.ly, Canva, or Visme. Try Lucid Chart and screencasting tools, like Educreations and Screencast-o-matic.
- Classroom Lyrics challenges students to change the lyrics of songs that already exist. They can modernize the lyrics. The site provides charts, instructions, and guidance.
Create a music video
- Students can create a music video. Try the video creation apps and web tools here.
- Create emoji video lyrics like the one here. Try the video creation apps and web tools here.
- Students can create music collaboratively with WhoJam, Soundation, and Flat.
- Students can record, remix and edit audio with Audacity, Garageband, and Soundtrap.
- Students will have fun creating music videos with the Video Star and Funimate Music apps. Other fun apps for students to learn English, include the Sing2LearnEnglish iOS App and for children, the #Sing2Learn iOS App.
- Check out David Deubel’s 50 ways to Use Music and Song.
- Check out Larry Ferlazzo’s The Best Music Websites For Learning English.
Challenge: Try one of these ideas to get students learning with music and songs!
If you enjoyed these ideas, you may want to get your copy of The 30 Goals for Teachers or my $5.99 ebook, Learning to Go, which has digital/mobile activities for any device and editable/printable handouts and rubrics.