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Changing the Lyrics

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Here's another way to use songs for effective listening lessons. This one is lots of fun.

Take the lyrics to a song and sit down at the computer. Rewrite them so they keep the same character but with different words. I'll give you an example:

(This is an old, old song called 'Jesse James'. You can do this with any song. I just have this one sitting in a song book on my table. This might be a good lesson on past tense.)

Jenny James was a girl
Who kissed many a man,
She lived in Glendale, Spain.
And the chickens, they did say
For many moons away
She was kissed by Fred and Jackson Chen.

Jenny had a life
in the morning was a wife
and her children they were safe.
But that dirty laundry down
In the corner of the town
has paid poor Jenny for her trade.

Make copies of this. Type in a really big font size. Take them to class. At this point teach your students a little stomp type rhythm and get them up practicing, first as a choral repeat, and then in a round of either two or three groups.

Now sit them down, each with a copy of the "wrong lyrics." Tell them that the words are wrong! You just made them up. They now have to listen for the right words and put in as many corrections as they hear (If you can, play it on guitar). Next to last ste p, put them into groups of two or three to compare answers. Finally, you could give them a copy of the correct lyrics for them to sing along to.

Here are the real lyrics to Jessie James:

Jessie James was a man
who killed many a man.
He robbed the Glendale train.
And the people they did say,
for many miles away
it was robbed by Frank and Jessie James.

Jessie had a wife
to mourn for his life
His children, they were brave
But that dirty little coward,
who shot Mr. Howard,
has laid poor Jessie in his Grave.

Name: Prentice
Email: prentice@ms9.hinet.net
Location: Taipei, Taiwan

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