As a Spanish teacher, incorporating music into your classroom activities can greatly benefit your students’ language learning experience. Music is a powerful tool that can help students improve their listening, pronunciation, and vocabulary skills. However, choosing the right song for your classroom activities can be a time-consuming task. With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to select a song that is both engaging and educational.
Nere are our tips to help you choose the perfect song for your classroom activities. These tips will not only save you time but also ensure that your students are engaged and motivated to learn. These tips, combined with our massive-sortable list of songs, will help you find the next big hit for your classes.
By following these tips, you can create a fun and effective learning environment that encourages your students to improve their Spanish language skills.
How to Choose a Song for Classroom Activities?
By Analiza Torres, Middle school Spanish teacher.
Here are some general tips on how to select a song for your classes:
1. Outline your goals.
Do you want the students to review the communication pattern? Are you teaching a complex grammar pattern that needs to be seen in context right away for it to make sense? Do you want them to review their dictionary skills? Once you have set clear goals for using popular songs it will be easier to find the most appropriate one.
To get you started, use this sortable list of songs in Spanish organized by topics.
2. Choose songs that contain known patterns and vocabulary.
The students will feel a profound sense of accomplishment when they see the patterns that they know in context and can understand the song right away without the aid of a dictionary.
3. Scan the song for inappropriate content.
Even if you are a native speaker, make sure that you understand all the imagery of the song. When in doubt, research it! The least you want is to offend someone with topics or lyrics that might be misinterpreted or offensive to them. If you find that the language may only be offensive in one country, you may explain to the students that in “X” country it is OK to say a word, but not in another country. You may not need to go into further detail.
4. Research the historical or cultural background of the song.
It will help when you discuss the song with the class.
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If you teach young students:
5. Research the singer.
If the singer is too controversial for the culture of your school, you may not want to use the song. Each school and class are different.
6. YouTube it.
Research the official video. Students will be drawn to the Internet to find the song. While you can’t shield students from every possible third-party video published online, if the official video is not appropriate for the age of your students and the culture of your school, you may want to rethink your choice.
7. Choose songs with music that is appealing to your students.
While some songs may be super valuable because of their content, your students may be bored if the music is not appealing to them. Dance songs are usually the best.
• If the students enjoy the song, they will learn it. Learning songs will help to engrain communication patterns in your student’s brain without a need to “memorize” them.
• In the past a lot of teachers used poetry for this purpose, but let’s face it, no teenager goes to the poetry circle anymore. Popular songs are it!
• If you build a repertoire of songs for class, you may even have a “Spanish Idol” contest on the last day of school or during a pep rally at your school. Use the songs beyond the lesson to keep the students engaged!
8. Find opportunities for interdisciplinary learning.
You may want to consult with the Language Arts teacher about how familiar your students are with poetic language. If they are not, plan a unit together. Your endeavor will be easier and more fulfilling if the students can interpret not only the lyrics, but their meaning.
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