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Jazz it up! Vol. 2

Songs are very useful tools for skills practice as they make learning memorable and meaningful.


Songs are great triggers for writing activities. Groups can produce an extra verse to the lyrics that relates in meaning and form to the rest of the song, or they can even produce a completely new set of lyrics for the song that goes with the melody but deals with a different topic.

Drama oriented students will enjoy creating, and even acting out a music video for the song that reflects the mood and meaning of the lyrics. Many songs also tell great profound stories. It might be a good idea to have students re-write these stories following a different style: narrative, dialogue, email thread, etc.

Reading and listening

There are several ways to exploit song lyrics to improve students’ listening and reading skills. Intensive listening activities can range from “tick the words in the list you hear” and “circle the correct alternative” to “complete the gaps”.

To practice reading skills you could consider printing copies of the lyrics and cut them up in stanzas for students to work in groups and re-arrange. Why not also use comprehension questions to analyse song meaning?