Anna Kendrick: Cups

Tags: just for fun, writing from memory
Level: Pre-intermediate, intermediate

For a quick preview of the tasks and the song, watch the video and read the annotations 🙂

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This one is perhaps going to be only for a couple of months, but at the moment, if you have 10 girls in class, there is a good chance 9 of them will know the song, at least 4 will know how to use the cup and sing the song. Boys are not so much into it but will have heard the song before (and seen the girls do the cups). The song is taken from the film Pitch Perfect.



Bring a cup to the class and ask students what they think it is there for. I have had classes where girls volunteered to sing the song immediately. If no one comes up with the idea of the song, start playing the video but don’t show it to them, just have them listen to the sounds and try to guess what is going on. there is 1 minute and 20 seconds of restaurant noise before the actual rhythm begins and you might want to stop the video now and then to ask what is going on. When someone guesses it is a song, stop the video and put students into small groups or pairs so that in each group there is approximately the same number of people who know the song as the next step depends on the number.


If there are many students who know the song, they should write down the lyrics from memory. The group that gets the lyrics without spelling mistakes first, wins. (it is a good idea to bring a chocolate as well)

If writing from memory is too hard or they don’t know the song well enough, tell them you are only going to play the song once and their task is going to be to write it down afterwards.


Have students sing along and check their writing. If it was a competition, each group should check another group’s writing.



If you see the interest, you can have students learn to play the cup. Here is a nice handout with instructions on how to do it.





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