What I love about March Music Madness is that students get a peek into what music is popular in other parts of the world. It’s a way to connect our students to the language. Who doesn’t love music? When you have students start singing a song in class or telling you how they listen to the songs at home, you know it’s doing its magic.
As Dustin Williamson says: “Quite honestly, MMM is more about having fun, listening to music, being exposed to different genres and making March better in my classroom.”
Students don’t need to understand the lyrics of the whole song to enjoy it. How many of us listen to English music and get the lyrics wrong or don’t understand everything? The music is the hook so don’t worry if the song is not 100% comprehensible. However, you can go over certain high-frequency parts of the song to introduce new words or point out a word they know in a new context but most of the language that we use in class is to describe the song, opinions of it, talk about how many votes it has and which song they think will win.
Use the target language to talk about where the artist is from. Have them write the song title down- spell it for them. Talk about how many views it has on YouTube- practice numbers. Give opinions – is it better or worse than another song? Does a student agree or disagree with their peer’s opinion? What is the theme of the song? Can you use words from the song’s lyrics to tell a simple story about the song?
The language we use to TALK ABOUT the songs and talk about the voting process is just as important as listening to the songs themselves.
Use our Google Slide presentation to guide discussion, where you’ll find the song ranking (based on Spotify listens), the artist name, country of origin, and birthdate, plus song information such as release date and number of plays on Spotify and Youtube, plus embedded lyric videos to listen and finally the direct link to vote.
I give them a handout and have them rate the songs. A couple different options are included in our MMM Lesson Packet.
Of course, you can do the traditional lyrics activities [here are our top favorite lyric activities], or after round 1 you may be enticed to show the music video and opt for an activity using the music video. Check out our top 8 things to do with a music video.
If you’d like to collaborate with other teachers, join our Facebook group where we discuss and share all things related to our music competition. If you have any resources to share, add them to the Shared Google Drive.