Lots of my students have been going crazy for this song. The problem is that most of them have listened to it so may times that using it in the classroom might not be that useful. Or would it?
I decided to play a trick on my students.
I changed the lyrics in to a fairy tale. I changed it just enough so that they wouldn’t suspect but tried to keep some key vocabulary.
I then did a dictagloss (see below) and some collaborative writing. I let them in on the trick by playing the song at the end of class.
The results: the students got some great listening and writing practice. They really analysed the song before realising it is something they have been exposed to lots of times before but never really thought about.
Time: 90 mins
Materials: A3 paper, story below and song.
Skills: Extended Listening, Collaborative Writing and Speaking.
Language Focus: Narrative Tenses and Vocabulary.
1. Tell students that you are going to tell them about a fairy tale.
2. Tell them the fairy tale involves a Princess with a terrible secret that she must conceal, an isolated mountain, a swirling storm, fear and a realisation. Board these terms, clarify any unknown language and ask students to predict what will happen in the story.
3. Ask students to compare their predictions. Tell them they will find out the secret at the end of the lesson.
4. You can now tell students the story but this time they should just listen and not write anything down.
Once upon a time there was a beautiful Princess, but she did not live in a castle, she lived alone on top of an isolated mountain. On the mountain it was winter all year round. The wind howled and storms raged.
Every night, the Princess listened to the howling wind and thought about the terrible storm that raged inside of her. A secret so terrible that she had to keep it concealed from everyone.
The secret prevented her from ever seeing her people and even her own family. She feared the secret could hurt her sister. She could never let them see what was inside and would never let them in.
One day the storm inside got so strong that she could not hold it back anymore. She realised that the only thing she had to fear was fear itself. She didn’t care what people would say. Once she told her family she realised that the fear inside didn’t bother her anymore. She stayed in her kingdom and the storm on the mountain raged. She knew she was not perfect but the storm inside was gone.
I wonder what her secret was?
5. Tell students that you will read again and this time they can take short notes. Remind them they should just note down key words and phrases.
6. Students compare notes with a partner.
7. Put students in to small groups of 3 or 4. Using their notes they reconstruct the story. Encourage them to make a rough draft and then write the story out on A3 paper as accurately as possible.
8. When they have finished, put the stories up around the room for everyone to read.
9. Ask students to discuss what they think the big secret is.
10. Reveal by playing song.
11. Discuss the song- What was the secret? Have you seen the movie? Was the story similar? Have you thought about the song like this before? Have you ever felt like this before? Is it always better to share your secrets? Could the secret be a metaphor for something else?
I hope you enjoy the lesson and please let me know how you get on with it.
Thanks for reading and please share.
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It has tonnes of free IELTS resources including reading, listening, speaking and both writing tasks.
For example, our post on IELTS Introductions takes students step by step through the process of writing and IELTS introduction.