Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Using Songs to Motivate Students' Creativity

Teenagers and music are inseparable. So it's always an excellent tool to use in the classroom to teach or revise both grammar and vocabulary, or just for fun. I posted some examples some time ago (click here to check).
With songs students can practise the 4 skills: from a simple listening activity, or a reading comprehension, or even a debate, to a more elaborate writing activity, you just have to pick (or let them pick) the song.
I've recently written about arousing student's imagination and creativity through art. Music is art too. So why not using it to stimulate creativity? Here are some ideas:

1. After listening to the song, ask students to create a new verse to it;

2. Ask students to find a photo which best describes the song lyrics;

3. If the topic of the song allows it, you can ask students to improvise a dialogue between the song writer and the character in the song. In this case, you have to make sure students understand the lyrics so as to feel confident enough to accomplish the task. Give them the timing and the setting to give it more meaning and make it easier (Coldplay's Scientist is a suitable song for this activity);

4. Have students write a letter/e-email to the main character (or the singer), or send an answer to the character referred to in the song;

5. "A song talk" - students usually have their favourite songs. Maybe they know interestings facts or stories to tell about their songs, so ask them to prepare a short talk;

6. If the song tells a story, you can challenge students to turn it into a cartoon story using Xtranormal or Goanimate;

7. Ask them to draw or collage the song and compare the visualizations in class.

Well, the sky is the limit! Enjoy.

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