Song and dance

Songs can be a great English-teaching tool, assuming the song is suitable for the classroom and the students' level, but the challenge is finding a creative way to use them. We decided to combine song, dance, grammar and vocabulary in a dynamic way to get the kids up and moving, while practicing English at the same time. We used "Say Something," a beautiful ballad by A Great Big World. The song worked perfectly for a variety of reasons, the most important of which was that the students loved the song. Secondly, it's slow and repetitive, which makes it easier for the students to follow, and they're not overwhelmed by new words. Thirdly, a variety of verb forms (past simple, present simple, present continuous, command, future, etc.) are used, so it was perfect for the activity we chose.

We called the activity "Grammar Dance." The students had the lyrics in hand, and for every time a specific verb form appeared in the song, they had to do a specific action, effectively making a sort of "dance" when the song was played as a whole. For example, every time they heard the present simple tense, they had to stand up. With past simple, they had to raise their hand. With future, they had to move their hand in circles, and so on. Almost every line of the song has a verb, so they were thinking about the verb tense and its associated movement with every lyric. It was funny to see them paying attention to grammar and participating in a fun, creative way at the same time.