aims: practice listening for detail, practice speaking, writing using 2nd conditional forms
- beyonce-task-sheet (MS Word doc, 32 KB)
- beyonce_task_sheet (PDF, 11.8 KB)
(The Lesson Plan appears below.)
Those of us lucky enough to have students who fall into the demographic category now referred to as “tween” are always up for some song action in class. The students–out of either genuine interest or simply the lazy-minded perception that doing activities with songs is less “worky” than normal book work type things–clamor for them almost constantly.
Problem is, in recent years, we’ve been flooded by a lot of crap music. I mean, straight garbage. I mean, not to offend, maybe one of you out there reading this likes Black-Eyed Peas (I don’t), but you try finding a language point worth teaching in the lyrics of a song like, say, “My Humps”. Or “Get Retarded”. And don’t even get me started on that High School Musical shite. And Camp Rock, well, I’m not even trying to go there.
It is with great pleasure, then, that I present “If I Were a Boy” by Beyoncé, complete with idea for warm-up, two videos to use in class, two listening gap-fills, personalization, and a writing activity.
I’ve always kind of been kind of a fan of Beyonce. Well, actually I was more of a Destiny’s Child fan. Well, no, not a superfan, but even in my more “underground” phase I always had to admit that they had some damn good songs. I wonder whatever happened to my copy of Survivor that I bought at the flea market…*sigh*
Here are the videos:
BEYONCÉ Interview + “If I Were a Boy” 2nd Conditional Lesson Plan
STAGE ONE – warmer: guessing game
Set this up by telling students that you are thinking of a celebrity. They have to ask yes or no questions to guess who it is. Split them up into teams if you want. Correct any errors with question formation, etc. (The answer, of course, is Beyoncé.) Keep this nice and short.
STAGE TWO – video
1. Put Ss in pairs, A and B. B is Beyonce, A is the interviewer. Give them the questions on the handout. A asks the questions, B answers, A writes their partner’s answers in the box on the handout. Then they switch roles. Circulate and give assitance as needed.
2. In feedback, ask certain “Beyoncé”s in the class answers to some of the questions.
3. Focus on part two of the handout. Ss listen and complete the sentences. (Answers: 1. tidy 2. stage 3. temper 4. “Crazy in Love” or “Say My Name” 5. honesty 6. cooking 7. terrorist attack 8. laugh attack). Play the video a second time, pausing before she finishes each of the sentences, giving Ss a chance to call out the answer.
4. Focus on part 3, and explain that Ss must complete the sentences for their partner and see if they are correct. If needed, do the first one with a student as an example. This should be done very quickly as well.
STAGE THREE – Song
2. After answering the first questions, give Ss page 2 (with the lyrics), and they fill in the gaps.
3. Afterwards, with the whole class, answer the Vocabulary questions.
STAGE FOUR – Writing
1. Write “If I Were a Boy” and “If I Were a Girl” on the board. Tell the Ss they are going to write a poem similar to the song by Beyonce. Obviously, boys will write “If I Were a Girl” and girls, vice versa.You may or may not want to use the template from the handout. It depends on how familiar the students are with the form (If + past simp., would + inf.).
Ss write the poems and compare in pairs. (If your kids are lazy and need motivation, tell them you’ll be taking it up for a grade, and they’ll probably hop to it.)
2. In feedback, ask one of each pair to explain what their partner would do if he or she were a girl or boy, as the case may be.
If time doesn’t allow, you can end by brainstorming differences about boys and girls or whatever and give them the poem to write as homework.
Voila. Of course, this sequence could be broken into two chunks, to be done in consecutive sessions, the interview portion in one class and the song in the next.
The “If I Were a” template can be used for lots of other things (animals, jobs, etc.)
I’m still working on a way to use T-Pain in the classroom. I’ll keep y’all posted.