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Sting & Vampires

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This is a fun test of oral comprehension. The song is Sting's "Moon over Bourbon Street" on his Blue Turtles CD. Without telling the students what the song is about, I play it for them a first time just for mood. I then ellicit adjectives from them and write them on the board: sad, regretful, mysterious, etc. Then I play it for them again and have them listen to WHO the story is about (the speaker and, in the 3rd verse, a young woman). The third time around I stop the player after each line and have them recite it for me. Sting sings so clearly that most students have little trouble understanding. There are a few words that will need to be explained (beneath the streetlight, brim of a hat, etc.) Remember that the line "the eye of a beast" - beast may be a new word for them until they're reminded of Beauty and the Beast. After the 3rd playing, I do a summary of "what do we know about him?" I've done this maybe a dozen times and with some discussion, someone in the class always gets it: He's talking about being a vampire.
It is an incredibly well-written song. Note even the baroque interlude in the middle of the song and tell them it is a clue,too. (It ties in with the line "It was many years ago that I became what I am."

A great song to do around Halloween, but students love it any time of the year!

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