Afterschool Class (Pop Songs)

April 29, 2013

At the beginning of the semester, I was asked to conduct an after-school class for which I was able to choose the grade level and topic. The class runs twice a week (on Tuesdays and Thursdays) for 10 weeks. To get to know my new kids better, I chose to do a class with my first grade students surrounding the topic of "Pop Songs". I must say it's been a hit; my class is full with 25 students while other classes have an average of 10 ^_^ We're 5 weeks into the class and it's been fun so far.

For the first few classes, we did a lot of icebreaker/introduction activities.
We started off with a musical version of the "Find Someone Who" activity; Students had a grid of attributes/skills related to music ("can play the piano", "can do the Gangnam Style dance") and had to go around the room to find a person in the class who fulfilled each attribute until they completed the whole grid. It took quite a bit of effort to get these kids up, moving, and talking, but we were eventually able to learn some things about each other (we have a die-hard Rebecca Black fan, and absolutely no one likes Teen Top). I also asked my students to write down 3 of their favourite English pop songs that I will try to incorporate into the class.

Instead of a handful of disjointed lessons, I wanted my students to do some kind of fun project. I stumbled upon the idea of having students create their own music videos by illustrating each line or two and compiling them together.

I allowed each group to choose which English song they wanted to illustrate; I was initially unsure if this was the best option since some songs are easier to understand/illustrate than others. However, through the use of online lyrics translations and my attempts to explain lyrics in simple language, students were able to come up with drawings for their songs.

The project took 5 classes to complete, and students seemed to enjoy the process. They got especially motivated once the first group had finished and I was able to show the final result. Once all groups were finished, we watched the videos as a class on the big screen. Here are the final, amazing results!

Call Me Maybe - Carly Rae Jepsen

My Love - Westlife

Who Says - Selena Gomez

Lucky Strike - Maroon 5

Where You Are - CN Blue

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