Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Power Speaking Music Videos - Day 1

Today marked the start of a new 4-week study block at my school. This means that I have 8 shiny new students and 4 grizzled veterans this block . I love the fact that my veteran students help get the new students quickly up to speed on class routines, due dates, etc...

This block we're learning how to give an informative speech, so students will be learning structure as well as how to use PowerPoint effectively and how to use gestures in their speeches to add emphasis and memorability.

The afternoon projects for this block will be centered on the creation of music videos with the students lip-synching and using gestures for various words in the song in their video and then using the original song for the soundtrack.

Due to copyright limitations on the music (all pop songs), we can't upload these, but we will share the final products with other students in the school.

Before the Class
1. Gather a selection of songs from the top 40 that have a good beat and no profanity and are, of course, in English. My plan is to choose enough songs for 4 groups for 3 weeks with a few leftover (14-16). I might change this plan after this week and allow students to choose their own song for weeks two and three.
2. Download a copy of each of the songs you choose to share with students in class. Many of my students already had these songs on their various phones, 'pods and 'pads.

Materials and Equipment
1. The song "The Eency Weency Spider"
2. Lyrics for "The Eency Weency Spider" handout (1 copy for each student)
3. Speakers for your playback device
4. CD with each of the songs you selected on it (or load them onto your own playback device)
5. Print copies of the lyrics for each song (enough for each group member and one copy for you)

The Process
1. Tell students that they are going to get to listen to some music, but not for relaxation . Since we are learning about gestures, they will be adding some gestures to a song to make it more interesting and memorable. You could make this even funnier by telling them what an awesome dance song you have for them.
2. Give each student a copy of the Eency Weency Spider lyrics. Give them a chance to ask questions about any new vocab. We had fun with teeny-tiny, itsy-bitsy and teensy-weensy . Spout was a new one for my students as was the phrasal verb wash out.
3. Now have students just listen to the song the first time while following along with the lyrics. You can sing along if you want to
4. After rockin' out, put students into groups of 2 or 3 and tell them that you want them to add some gestures to the song and that they will get to do their gestures with the song when you play it again. They can write ideas on their lyric sheets if they want to but the group must all do the same gestures. They should try to add one gesture per line if possible!
**A note about gestures - on the board I wrote and explained the following:
*Can help

1. make your speech more interesting
2. make your speech more memorable
3. make your speech easier to understand

Gestures should be...
1. Big and Obvious
2. Culturally Clear
3. Timed Carefully: I caught a big fish.

'Big and Obvious' means that your elbows need to be out from your body and the gesture needs to stand out. 'Culturally Clear' means that your audience will understand what your gestures mean. To help explain timing, I said the fish sentence with my arms outstretched the whole time (to show the 'big')- WRONG; then I said it again, but put my arms out only after I finished - WRONG; then I said it again, gesturing with my arms only on the word 'big' - CORRECT

5. Now give students approximately 10 minutes to create and practice their gestures for the song. Circulate to offer assistance as needed.
6. Play the song again, watch the students' gestures and stop the song if anything looks out of synch. We had several false starts with giggle attacks , but eventually we got through the whole song. Then we played it a couple more times to show off We talked about how difficult the timing was and admired each others' creative gestures before moving on.
7. On the board I wrote down the artists and songs that the students could choose from: Taio Cruz - Dynamite, Pink - Please Don't Leave Me, Tinie Tempah - Written in the Stars, Adele - Rolling in the Deep, Jessie J - Price Tag, Bruno Mars - Grenade, Avril Lavigne - What the Hell, Jack Johnson - You and Your Heart
8. This was the end of our hour, so I asked my students to start thinking about which song they like the best and then choose their top three. I told them we would choose songs for their groups tomorrow.

The Sharing
Nothing to share yet, but just wait until we're done! It's going to be awesome!!

- Posted from my iPad

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