You may have heard that British people love to talk (and complain) about the weather! Well, in true British style, here’s an activity for you to try in class with your learners. It’s taken from Grammar Songs & Raps: For Young Learners and Early Teens, part of the Cambridge Copy Collection.
For this lesson, you’ll need to be able to play this audio recording of ‘The Weatherman’ rap and download the accompanying worksheet.
1. Tell your students that they are going to look at a nonsense rap text about the weather. Hand out a copy of Worksheet A (attached above) to each student. Ask them if they can find any of the nonsense bits in the text and underline them. Allow 2-3 minutes for this.
2. Ask students to call out the bits they believe are nonsense.
3. Tell students that you are going to play the rap with the correct lyrics. They should first only listen and underline the bits on the worksheets that are different from what they hear.
4. Play the rap again. This time get students to jot down in the margin of the worksheet the correct language. This will take some time, and you may want to stop the audio player several times so students have time to make their own notes.
5. Repeat this several times until the students are confident that they’ve got the correct lyrics. Compare the students’ version of the text with the original below.
The nonsense words are:
in May, hooray, eat a kiwi or two, old Heather
lawn mowers, flowers, play, Fred
wonder, pain, rain
towers, flowers, panda, hop
worms, Sophie’s show, worms, Joe, ride
I’m really hungry Sue, I’ve made some pizza just for you, cows, there’ll be a line, mine, French fries, everyone, sun
Why songs and raps?
Young learners need a good balance of fun and language practice in order to be able to gradually develop language accuracy. Teachers notice that young learners and teens often show a remarkable ability to pick up and remember chunks of language they come across in stories, pop songs and other forms of texts that they like.
Such chunks of language often contain important language structures. Therefore using songs to help students remember strings of words, sentence fragments and sentences can be valuable practice.
For more classroom activities from the Cambridge Copy Collection, why not take a look at our previous post on the Before or after? grammar game?