Sunday, 3 April 2011

We Are The Champions: One Song, Countless Activities: Present Perfect Cloze, Idioms, Vocabulary, etc.

A lot of teachers who use songs for ELT restrict themselves to a gap-fill activity plus a singalong, but there are, however, many other activities you could do besides those, some of which I've set out below, and I also created a quiz incorporating some of them.

Due to copyright problems, I'm not allowed to embed the video here, but click on the video image, and then, again, where it says 'Watch on YouTube", and it will bring you to the video in YouTube.
(Note: I just tried it again, and it played the video here without any problem. I won't remove the above warning just in case you get the copyright message.)

Watch the video once. Then, click on the second image to start the interactive cloze activity. Play the video a second time, and while it's playing, try to fill in the missing gaps.

When you've completed that, have a go at the quiz - just click on the third image below to start. Only the email is obligatory, but if you don't wish to enter yours, just give a fictitious one, e.g.

If you provide an email, the quiz robot automatically sends you your results, along with the correct answers.

We are the champions interactive cloze activity present perfect songs

EFL ESL TEFL CLIL Music Activities, Present Perfect songs, We are the champions, Idioms

Ideas for using songs in the classroom for teachers:

Speaking: Play the first few seconds of the song (without the video image). This is a famous song, so chances are that a fair few of the students will know it. Ask them. Ask them what they know: the group, the names of the band members, the song title, how often they have heard the song, where they have heard it, what it means to them, what they think the writer was writing about, etc.

Depending on the level of your students, this song could lead to all sorts of interesting discussions, such as AIDS, struggling artistes, bullying, sports in general, football in particular, success and failure, etc.

Fill-in-the-gap: If you're doing this as an offline activity, have them guess the missing words before they listen to the song.

Jumbled sentences: Cut up the lyrics into strips of phrases, and ask them to put them in the right sequence. Or, you can jumble the words of a bar and they correct them. You can just write the words on the board, or you can prepare a word cloud. Click here to see an example.

Synonyms/Opposites: Ask the meaning and/or opposites for: pay, do, bad, made, come, end, loser, bring, fortune, go, pleasure.

Idioms: This song is great for idioms:

pay one's dues: to earn a given right or position through hard work, long-term experience, or suffering
kick sand in someone's face: to be mean, to insult, to criticise, to bully
take a bow: to say of someone after they have achieved something special
not a bed of roses (usually negative): not easy, not pleasant or good, rough

Rhyming words: Select a word, e.g., 'call', and ask them to think of words which rhyme with it. You can set up a group competition, if you want.

As an extension of the above activity, ask them to invent another verse to add to the song.

Related posts:

Index of all Material by Category
Jumbled Sentences: Present Perfect
Cockney Rhyming Slang
Rhyming Words
Word Clouds - 101 Ways of Using Wordle in the Classroom


  1. After this post I'm going to start using music more often, so far I had a feeling of pleasure when using music in class, we were all happy , but I somehow thought we were not learning much, though "fun" sometimes is a strong source of motivation. Now I 've got a clear idea of what music can bring into class besides fun and relaxation and connection with art.
    Thank you so much, I will soon be commenting on how music has come into the doors of my class.
    Thanks for sharing
    Debbie @datenglish

  2. Hi Debbie!
    Thanks for coming and for the comment. We look forward to reading more on your music activities!


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