Teaching through pop music

Sorry, I’ve had this post written for months but had to wait to get the video before posting.

July is always a strange time of the year in the Korean classroom. Usually the end of semester exams take place at the beginning of the month which leaves us with about 3 weeks of no textbook.

Usually this is the time to watch movies with the students or play games but this time around myself and my co-teacher decided to do things differently. Last year I had a small after school class and I would teach them English pop songs so I decided to do this with my 5th and 6th graders during July. It took up 2 class periods which is a week of lessons for me. We chose the song “Baby” by Justin Bieber as many of my students had heard the song before and it’s not too difficult to learn. For our first class I printed the lyrics out but left some blanks on the page. We listened to the song and then I asked them some questions (before giving them the handout) One question was “how many times does Justin say the word baby?” It was quite fun to see the concentration on their faces (the answer is 56 times by the way)

Then they had to fill in the missing song words. We gave them the first letter to each word and then one or two other letters to help them with the spelling. All of the students seemed very engaged, even the low level students who were able to figure out most of the words. When we finished we reviewed the words and spelled them out, then there was only enough time to sing the song one more time.

The next class was quite fun for everyone. My co-teacher had a great idea to make a music video with our students so I printed out the song lyrics sentence by sentence. Each student was given one sentence and they had to write that sentence with a nice picture. If they didn’t understand what the sentence meant I would try to act it out for them so that they would understand.

I always love doing creative things in the classroom (even though I’m the most uncreative person in the world!) as it allows the low level students to relax and enjoy themselves. My students were so in to the drawing that it took them the entire 40 minute period to finish. Once finished my co-teacher took photos of them with their lyrics. My co-teacher then turned it in to a music video for each class. I feel so lucky to have such an amazing co-teacher. She cares about the students so much and uses her free time to teach the low level students. I’ve learned so much from her and she makes me want to be a better teacher everyday

It was a really fun way to spend my last week before camp and vacation. I got to hang out with the kids and chat with them while they were drawing and once they found out that I was getting married during the vacation they were so excited and there was a constant “congratulations” coming from all around the classroom.

Our summer camp is going to have a “colour” theme this time around so we are going to do lots of creative things. I’m pretty excited to show my students the joys of food colouring! 

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