Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Music - using songs more than once

I got this idea from Kristy Placido in an online conference through tprspublishing a few years back.

Basically I used to just show a song for one day of the week and we would listen to it and do a cloze activity. It was the favorite day of a lot of my students.  We would go over the lyrics and listen to it various times. But there was never really much of an extension activity.

I don't see a huge problem since my most important goal was to expose them to new things. The songs could have similar and/or different perspectives and we could have a quick talk in L1 or TL about them as needed. Since storytelling revolves around high frequency structures, this is a great activity since many songs will have some part with comprehensible language that we can see later creep up in stories.

I also noticed many of the kids downloaded the songs that year.

As you might know, my ideas usually tend to start small and then they grow so I can milk them for more passes of the material (cough: "celos"). That way, the kids are exposed more than once to the song and can really have more time to listen to it (which also creates a relaxing way to start class in the block).

So now, I do multiple passes for the songs and try to vary the activities. Please don't judge my lack of creativity in the activities. I'm always trying to think of new ways to engage my students.

If you think it's a waste of time for a Comprehensible Input Based classroom when there are incomprehensible lyrics, I completely understand.  But at the end of the day, I want to expose my kids to new things and if there is a line or two in the song that is meaningful, the rest is ok.

In some classes, I also might do an extension activity where I take a line that we kind of understand and then have them manipulate it into Spanish.  They have 5 minutes to try and then we go over them.  This is nice to quickly cover grammatical points that I am supposed to have "covered" this year in Spanish one before they have another teacher.

I don't know that there is a huge value for most of the class with this, but my high performers love to shine.  I never say something is "wrong", but rather "it might sound a little funny to a Native speaker" and then instead of saying "correct" I might say, "that would sound great" or "that's really comprehensible!" This helps the kids realize that meaning is always the most important part of my class.

Here are a few songs I have used over the years with additional activities.
  1. Prince Royce - Corazón sin cara
  2. Jesse y Joy - Corre
  3. Sie7e - Tengo tu love
  4. Carlos Baute - Colgando en tus manos
  5. Selena - El chico del apartamento 512
  6. Señor Wooly - Puedo ir al baño
  7. Jesse y Joy - Mi tesoro
  8. Prince Royce - Darte un beso
  9. Chino y Nacho - niña bonita
  10. Julieta Venegas - Me voy

 If you can use them, great, if not, what songs have you enjoyed?

For more song ideas, check out, or a huge database at elmundobirch.


  1. These extension activities are great Jeremy!! Thank you very much for sharing them :)

    1. Glad you think so! Hopefully you can find use for one/some/all of them! ;-)

  2. Muchas gracias, Sr. Jordan! I have used some of these songs with my classes in the past, and am looking forward to trying out these extension activities!

    1. That's great! Glad that you were able to find something to try out in your classes! ;-)