Incorporating Music: A Sample Lesson for Intermediate Learners

In order to prepare for an upcoming workshop, I’ve been creating some materials for using songs in the language classroom.  While I incorporated several songs during my last two years in the classroom (I blogged some of my lessons here), I wanted to add a few more ideas for my workshop participants.  Fortunately, some awesome language teachers out there have blogged lots of great suggestions for using songs and I relied heavily on ideas shared by others (see bibliography below).  

One activity that I hadn’t had time to prepare when I was in the classroom was a Picture Talk with a music video.  (Click here for a great explanation of Picture Talk.) In order to demonstrate this strategy, I chose the song, Je te le donne by Vitaa as the video illustrates a sweet story that I thought would be engaging to students.  To implement this strategy, I would use the screenshots in this Google Slides Presentation to narrate the narrative depicted in the video.  I have included a few questions on the slides, to help guide the Picture Talk.  As directed on slide #23, I would not show the actual video until we had discussed the first 22 slides, as a way of building anticipation. While I created this Picture Talk with Intermediate learners in mind, the questions could easily be modified for Novices.  

In addition to the Picture Talk presentation, I prepared this document with additional activities that could be used when using this song with Intermediate learners.  On the first day, I would lead a short discussion of the pre-reading questions and then play the song (without showing the video). Although not included on the document, I would create a cloze activity for the students to complete as they listened. After going over the cloze activity, I would have the students complete the interpretive activities (B & C). If time permits, I would then have the students complete one of the presentational writing activities, although this could also be assigned for homework.

On the second day, I would have the students do the pre-viewing collaborative storyboard activity in preparation for the Picture Talk. Following the Picture Talk, I would have the students complete the interpersonal and then presentational activities.

For other great ideas on using songs in the classroom, here’s the bibliography I compiled for my presentation:

10 thoughts on “Incorporating Music: A Sample Lesson for Intermediate Learners

    1. madameshepard Post author

      Awww, thank you! I miss connecting with my readers (and I’m stuck at home with the flu) so I wanted to come up with something I could share!

  1. Jackie Parr

    I have many students tell me they love to do music in the classroom but that they don’t learn anything from doing cloze activities while listening. They do not feel that cloze activities improve their listening comprehension skills. Do you know of any resources that confirm or disprove my students’ perception? I am really looking for a compelling reason to continue or not this kind of activity. Merci bien!!

    1. madameshepard Post author

      Hi, Jackie. Although I don’t have any resources to support my opinion, I would tend to agree that a cloze does not likely teach or assess listening comprehension. After all, it is not necessary to understand any of the words in a verse to choose the correct word from a word bank. I have used them in the past as a way of focusing students’ attention during the listening phase, but other authors suggested great alternatives. For example, you could 1) provide manipulatives (verses printed out on strips of paper and cut up) and have the students put them in order as they listened to the song or 2)provide the lyrics with errors that the students had to correct. While neither of these ideas require comprehension, maybe they would be more engaging for your students? If not, you could certainly skip them and just work with the lyrics and video without any of these listening activities.

  2. Edith Nelson

    Merci de ce partage! Génial!

    Voici d’autres chansons que j’aimerais faire en suivant votre modèle de Picture Talk, car je pense qu’elles pourraient être riches en discussion: A Table de L’homme Parle, Causes et Conséquences de IGIT, et aussi Il avait les mots de Sheryfa Luna. Dès que je l’aurai fait, je partagerai. Si seulement je prenais ma retraite! 🙂

  3. sylvie escande

    Merci un millions de fois d’avoir encore une fois développé et partager cette idée brillante. Je venez de passer une semaine extrêmement difficile au travail et votre email me redonne de l’énergie ainsi que confiance en moi et en l’humanité .
    De tout coeur merci


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