When your students get older, they start conceiving the English book’s songs as something old fashioned, or just childish. So, you start looking for alternatives to replace those boring songs… and you realize that finding an accurate song for your class is not an easy task.
Let me give you some tips!
Make a survey at class to find out what their favourite songs are. Use this information to look for a song according to their interests.
Take this into account:
Your students’ age
Your Students' English level
Your Students' emotional development
The group characteristics (noisy group? new group? etc.)
If you have a noisy group, you may use relaxing songs or songs that have no loud voices or strident sounds included.
If your group is not participative or shy, your songs could have vocabulary that allows you to prepare visual aids in order to catch their attention, and motivate them to participate in activities.
If you have no time to look for songs, let’s make our job simple, and use those from the book! Using your creativity, you can turn them into funny and attractive songs! Let me give you some ideas 💡.
Whether you use a song from the book, or any other song, activities could be:
The mandala challenge
💎Hand out simple mandalas for your students (You can download a few of mine at the end of this article 😊).
💎Ask them to number 10 sectors of the mandala (just as the colour by number activities). 💎Play the song and stop in each fragment (no more than 2 lines). Students will have to colour, in order from 1 to 10, every time they hear, understand and write a word from the song (They can write the words around the mandala, or in a piece of paper. Give them some time to do so!). This activity is great for noisy groups.
💎Hand out flashcards of the vocabulary included in the song.
💎Students have to raise the flashcard every time they hear its word in the song. (This activity is great for shy students)
💎Choose some key words in the song.
💎Ask your students to perform different actions every time they hear one of the key words. (Word 1: Stand up, Word 2: Touch your head.)
If your students are frustrated because they feel that they do not understand a word from the song, try this activity:
💎Make them sit down relaxed with pen and paper at hand.
💎Play the full song and ask them to close eyes and make a cross in the paper every time they recognize a word.
💎Do the same twice, three times and four times.
💎Ask them to be aware that every time they hear the song again, they can catch more words, as the brain starts to receive clearer information every time.
💎At the end, make them count the crosses of the first time they hear the song, the second time, and so on. In this way they can compare and see that they could go forward and start to recognize more words.
It always works, and they always catch more words every time!
Once you’ve done some of these activities with your students, then you can work using worksheets. I do not recommend giving a worksheet at the beginning of the class to work with a song. It is always better to work with the song in a TPR activity first, or any other activity involving the senses, so they can be familiarized with the song. Then, you can work on writing, grammar and structure using a worksheet as well.
I hope these ideas work for you, and if they inspire you to create new activities, then mission completed for me!
Below, you can download the "Mandala Challenge" printable, with my own mandalas! ✨