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In the summer, I’d done a few activities with music, one of which was blogged about here: We are the Champions.

One of my current students who had been in that course asked me the other day if I could do another song activity. I thought about it, and what follows here was the outcome of that thought.

Lesson Plan

Avicii – Wake me up

Type:     Listening (Songs) – Speaking – Writing

Level:    B1 upwards

Aims:

  • Improve listening skills, especially the sub-skill of scanning (listening out for specific information).
  • Improve reading skills (scanning)
  • Practise speaking and writing

Materials:            music file (if using the video, don’t show it as images usually distract), strips of lyrics

Time:     45-60 minutes

Procedure:

1.            Play a few bars of the song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7gSW5J8kbuI&feature=youtu.be

2.            Ask if they know it. If they don’t, tell them briefly that it was a summer hit (2013): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wake_Me_Up_(Avicii_song)

It is a song by Swedish DJ and music producer Avicii, which features uncredited vocals from American soul singer Aloe Blacc and acoustic guitar from Incubus’ Mike Einziger.

If they know it, ask them what they know about it, what they like/dislike, if they know the words…

3.            Form students in pairs or groups, depending on the size of the class. Make sure they clear their desks as they will need the space.

4.            Explain to them that they will be given the lyrics in strips of paper. The task is to arrange them in the right order. Before they listen, they should lay the strips in front of them in such a way that they will be easy to move. Put them in groups, for example, same lines can be together (as quite a few of them are repeated). While they are doing this, pay attention to what they consider key words. While they are listening to the song, these are the words they’ll be listening out for.

Warn them about breathing or coughing onto their strips of paper!

The song has an instrumental passage – they should take this time to re-scan the remaining strips.

5.            Hand out the strips of lyrics, one set per group.

6.            Play the song.

7.            The song’s quite fast so it’s fairly challenging. However, it’s likely they know the song as it was a summer hit and even though they may not know all the words, chances are that they know some parts. If they scan while they listen instead of trying to listen to every word, there is a good chance of them getting the task done in 2 listens.

8.            After the listening, ask them to read the lyrics and try to interpret them. Discuss, in groups, what they think the song is trying to say. Monitor and offer any assistance required. Finally, if the class is small enough, compare their interpretation.

9.            PACS. Board language (good or otherwise) used during discussion. Explain what is necessary, clear up any doubts.

10.          Maintaining the group format, have them write up their intepretation of the song. Monitor. PACS.

Feeling my way through the darkness Guided by a beating heart
I can’t tell where the journey will end But I know where it starts
They tell me I’m too young to understand They say I’m caught up in a dream
Well life will pass me by if I don’t open up my eyes Well that’s fine by me
So wake me up when it’s all over When I’m wiser and I’m older
All this time I was finding myself And I didn’t know I was lost
So wake me up when it’s all over When I’m wiser and I’m older
All this time I was finding myself And I didn’t know I was lost
I tried carrying the weight of the world But I only have two hands
I hope I get the chance to travel the world And I don’t have any plans
I wish that I could stay forever this young Not afraid to close my eyes
Life’s a game made for everyone And love is a prize
So wake me up when it’s all over When I’m wiser and I’m older
All this time I was finding myself And I didn’t know I was lost
So wake me up when it’s all over When I’m wiser and I’m older
All this time I was finding myself And I didn’t know I was lost
I didn’t know I was lost I didn’t know I was lost
I didn’t know I was lost I didn’t know I was lost

Give credit where credit’s due. Read this: Citing your sources.

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