Tag Archives: writing

Counting Stars by One Republic

Step 1

As students are entering the classroom and preparing for the class, play this song informally. Just let it be the background sound, most of my students know and like this song anyway.

Step 2

Ask students to watch/listen to this video. The video is of the same song but instrumental only. Ask students to work in groups to write the lyrics of the song from memory. (you can do this activity with any well known song where you can find an instrumental version)

Step 3

The groups compare their lyrics and then check it against the original version. This is a good listening exercise. If there are still problematic parts of the song, allow students to use the net to resolve them. This will help them develop skills for finding information.

Step 4

If your students need speaking practice more, have them talk about how they understand the lyrics. If they need reading or writing practice, you can have pairs or small groups do a short research of the net to find how other people interpret the lyrics and then report either orally or in writing on the class blog or on the classroom walls.

There are a lot of interesting interpretations of the lyrics here (but definitely not only here):


Suzanne Vega: Tom’s Diner

Pre intermediate

Present continuous, writing


Have the students listen to the song and read at the same time so they get an idea of what the song is about


If appropriate, ask students support questions to check their understanding.

Who is the main person in the song?

Where is she?

What is she doing?

What is happening around her?


Ask students to work in small groups or pairs and look around them to write a similar song about what is going on at this moment in classroom and outside. They should make sure the rhythm pattern fits the song. You can support this activity by playing the instrumental version of the song.

Help if necessary; provide dictionaries or internet access if you can.


Have students perform their songs with the support of the instrumental version of the song.

If you need to make the students take the task seriously, tell them the videos will be recorded. This usually spurs them to put more effort into the performing of the song and gives them a good reason to rehearse it beforehand.