It’s been a while since I posted any songs up here–I got started “bloggifying” my blog (making it less about posting materials and more about posting about other’s people’s posts, and posting about posts about other people’s posts, etc.) while I was out of commission with the flu, and now I’m better and ready to contribute.
aims: present and practice used to and would, talk about monarchs in history, practice writing and listening
materials: VIVA LA VIDA task sheet
Note: just like with the Killers, I’m not a big Coldplay fan. But, I’m having a hard time finding a language point to teach in a Mike Jones song, as I’d only half-jokingly mentioned on another blog. Maybe for simple telephone number practice (“If you wanna get me for a show or give me a feature on a flow/call 281-330-8004”)?
Anyway, this song became hugely popular not just all over the world but specifically in Barcelona, because for some reason that I’m not still not sure I completely grasp, the great Pep Guardiola chose it as his theme song to motivate his players to lead FC Barcelona to last years “triplete” (Copa, Liga, Champions)–I think I recall Dani Alves commenting to the press something along the lines of “Para mi, la canción es una mierda, pero si le gusta al mister…”
So, between the association with triumph in the world of sports, and the title (in Spanish, no less) which could conceivably be translated as an imperative (“live your life”) or more probably something like “Long live life!”, a lot of my students have come away with the impression that the lyrics to the song are about overcoming obstacles and being the best you can be and crap like that.
Not so much. Rather, it seems to a parable about political changes near the turn of the 19th century (in Revolutionar-era France, if I had to hazard a guess). Or something like that. So there.
This lesson starts with a discussion about royalty in the modern world, then moves on to the song, with a little bit of listening practice, a tiny grammar presentation, and a poetry writing exercise using a template based on the song.
PART ONE – WARM-UP/DISCUSSION
1. Draw, slowly, a crown on the board. Like a big letter ‘M’, but with three points and a line connecting it at the bottom. Make it abstract and cartoony. As you draw each line, ask students to guess what you’re drawing. If they don’t get it eventually, tell them it’s a crown.
Ask them: “Who wears a crown?” (This could be a king, a queen, a prince, a princess, Burger King, Jughead from Archie comics, anybody!) “What does a crown represent?”
2. Give students the first page of the handout. Ask them which countries have kings. (Answer: all of them.)
Put students in groups and give them the questions to discuss. Have the groups report to the class.
PART TWO – VOCABULARY / LISTENING
3. Focus on the matching exercise; in groups, students complete the exercise. Check the answers. If you like, you can mime the more “actiony” ones (roll the dice, call someone’s name, shatter windows, blow down the doors) and have students call out the answers.
4. Put students in pairs. Direct their attention to the sentences at the bottom of the page, and have them play the “I saw you…” game.
5. Give students page two of the handout. Tell them to fill the gaps with the phrases in the box as they listen. Play the song twice and check your answers.
6. After listening to the song twice and checking the answers, discuss the question: What emotions do you think the king is feeling? Ask them to refer to specific parts of the text to explain their answers.
7. Noticing: Ss look at sentences from the song and decide if they refer to the past or present. (Answer: The past.)
PART THREE – GRAMMAR / WRITING
1. Focus on the information in the box and clarify as necessary. Elicit the negative form of each (didn’t use to, wouldn’t).
2. Direct students to the writing task. They can do this in pairs if you like, choosing either a real king or one of the kings suggested on the sheet, or another one (King Africa? King Vitaman? Toteking? Whoever.)
3. Afterwards, Ss share their poems with the class. You could even have them put the poems on the wall, and then have students go around reading and choosing their favorite.
For homework, you could give them a writing task, answering the question from page one, part 2.
Hope you like this lesson, I think it’s pretty damn decent if I do say so myself.