In 2011 I blogged about what a boring teacher I really am and how I was inspired by some conference workshops to make things more fun in the classroom.
This is the eighth post on the activities that came out of those experiences: “let’s sing.”
My lyrics file is currently over 230 pages long. Usually, when we do a song in class, I have a particular reason – we’re working with the verbs, or the vocabulary, or the theme, or even just to decide whom we’ll vote for in Premios lo Nuestro. But not for the fun activity.
I ask a random student to choose a number between 1 and 230. They pick a number, and we go to that page. Now, some of my classes just flat don’t like some of the songs. So, in the spirit of the “fun” activity, if we land on one of those, we pick a different number, until we have one that the majority of students want to do.
My normal song mantra is “You can watch and listen, or you can watch and sing, but you can’t not watch [the lyrics].” But not here. Here, they have to sing. Even if they’re just whispering and mouthing the words, everyone’s mouth has to be moving. Even better if you have a dancer in the room. Have a sing-off, or a sing-and-dance-off.
Music has reached students in whom I thought I’d never find intrinsic motivation. Next time you have a lull halfway through class, and students seem bored and inattentive, pull up a lyrics file (ask me for mine!), pick a number, and sing away.
Foto credit: JosEnrique