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Check out the activities for using songs to teach reading



Pompeii by Bastille discusses the events of the volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius that destroyed the city in 79AD.

The meaning of this song could be revealed at the end of the song to give the children space to imagine what is happening and to create their own narrative.

Questions for discussion

1) What does it mean if you are left to your own devices?

2) What is happening in the song?

3) From whose perspective is the song being sung?

4) How does the narrator feel?

5) How do they cope with what’s going on around them?

6) Can you find a word that means the same as wreckage?

Click here for a link to the lyrics.

Feel Again

One Republic

Questions for Discussion

1) Find and copy one word from the opening few lines that means 'can't be felt'. 

2) 'Everything that I had 'til my feet went numb' - why do you think that there is an apostrophe before the word 'til?

3) 'Heart's still beating but it's not working' - Do you think this is true? If not why not? What could they mean by this sentence? 

4) What does it mean if you 'reach out'?

5) What does the writer mean by 'feel'? In other words, what does it mean to 'feel something'?

6) How does the writer change over the course of the song? How did he feel at the start and how does he feel now?

7) Who do you think that the writer is? What do you think happened to them?

8) P4C question: what things make people the happiest and why? What things should make us the happiest?

Click here for a link to the lyrics.

Cool Kids


Questions for discussion

1) Find and copy one word from the first couple of lines that means 'way of doing things'.

2) What does the word invincible mean?

3) 'Yeah, they're invincible, and she's just in the background' - what do you think is happening here?

4) What does it mean to 'fit in'?

5) Who do you think the 'Cool Kids' are?

6) Do you think the writer is one of 'Cool Kids'? Is so/not why?

7) What does it mean if you 'haven't got a clue'?

8) What is the main theme of this song?

9) P4C question - what can we do to help people if they don't feel like they fit in?

Click here for a link to the lyrics.

Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger: Comparative Adjectives

Daft Punk

Daft Punk's 'Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger' is a useful song for helping children remember comparative adjectives. 

Click here for a link to the lyrics.

Across the Universe: Prepositions

The Beatles

Prepositions - get your children to find the prepositions in the song!

Click here for a link to the lyrics.

You Don't, You Won't: Contractions

Billy Gilman

This song is great for introducing children to contractions. ​

The children could underline the contractions, convert them into uncontracted phrases or simply listen and learn!

Click here for a link to the lyrics.

All You Need is Love: Passive Voice

The Beatles

Use All You Need is Love to help your class get to grips with the passive voice. 

You couldn't encourage the children to relay lines to one another from the song that have been written in the passive voice. 

Click here for a link to the lyrics.

Fields of Anthenry

Paddy Reilly

The Fields of Athenry is a traditional Irish folk song as is a useful literacy focus for St. Patrick's day. 

The song requires a bit of background knowledge to understand, so it probably isn't suitable for a stand-alone comprehension exercise. However, the song is a nice prompt for letter or diary entry writing. 

The song is set during the Irish Famine of the 19th century and it centres on a man named Michael from near Athenry, a town in rural Ireland. Michael was sentenced to transportation to Botany Bay, Australia, for stealing food for his starving family.

Click here for a link to the lyrics.

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