Activity

Song HAPPY Pharrell Williams

Improve listening skills and pronunciation with this activity for JHS 3rd graders.

It might seem crazy what I am about to write, the worksheet is here, you can take a break. I am an ALT that wants to go to rest, with the air like I did a good job by the way.
Joking aside, I have adapted and modified for Japanese students the Happy - Pharrell Williams worksheet taken from this site https://www.tuneintoenglish.com/.
There are 3 pages: 1 and 2 are the worksheet (with 3 activities), in page 3 you have the lyrics.
I am uploading also the google slide file so that you can easily edit it. I suggest that you print it in A4 size.

WHAT I DO:

Part 1: Introduction

First, I ask the students to get into groups of 4 people (3 or 5 is okay). Then I tell them:
1) Today we are going to work on our listening skills.
2) Take a piece of paper and write down whatever words you can hear.

I play Happy - Pharrell Williams

Then I ask them what words they heard, and I write them on the blackboard. I usually say there are no mistakes, they don't have to worry, because even native speakers sometimes misunderstand English songs ^^; (I do not say "right, correct or perfect" but "good, nice, interesting, wow" during this step).
The more they tell me their words, the more confidence they gain.
NOTE: I keep the words on the board until the end of the lesson, so they can see if they heard the words correctly, almost or not.

Part 2 - worksheet

I hand out the worksheets and then start with the activities.
Activity 1: They have to list the words by their pronunciation. To help them, I write some examples on the blackboard
aɪ --> my
eɪ --> pay (I sing paypay jingle)
uː --> no examples
æ --> cat (refreshing the difference with cut)
aʊ --> sound
This is usually a fun team activity. Write the answers under the examples you have written on the blackboard.

Activity 2 is extremely challenging. They have to number the words in the order they hear them. Please tell them before this activity that it will be extremely difficult and that, if you agree, completely understanding a song is one of the most difficult tasks one can face when studying a different language. However, to do this activity, I have them listen to the song twice until about 2:07 (this is when the verse ends and all the words have now come out), the first time at normal speed and the second time at x0.75, slower. They will thank you! The second time they should be able to find and number the words. Remember that the real main goal of this activity is not to write down the correct answers, but to get them to focus on listening. Now that they have listened to the song twice, don't give the answers and move on to the next activity!
NOTE: the last word, "high" is very hard (but not impossible) to find. Highlight it to them! They will laugh!!!

Activity 3: Play the song again at x0.75 and ask them to fill in the lyrics with the words in the box. If necessary, have them listen to it a second time. Then ask for answers and simultaneously number them on the blackboard (so that the answers in Activity 2 are given at the same time).

When finished, distribute the lyrics and sing them all together.

Considerations:
It was a very fun class for my students. They enjoyed it and so did their teacher. Regardless of their English skill, working in a 4 person team (6 too many, 2 too few) was extremely proficient. They cooperated excellently. I was extremely satisfied.
I did this with JHS third graders in January, 2 months before their graduation. In short, they are mature enough to focus on their goals and don't mess up during class!
There are many songs you can work on, and of the many I would recommend this one because the students after hours were still humming it smiling while cleaning up. I was also thinking of The Lazy Song - Bruno Mars (he came to Japan last month, January 2024 and sold out all his 7 dates at Tokyo Dome, WOW!!!).
Feel free to change anything you want and do whatever you want with this idea. I hope you can have as much fun as I had. Enjoy.

Files:
Small files
  • Song HAPPY.pdf (291 KB)
  • Medium files (requires an account to download) -
  • Song HAPPY.pptx (2.14 MB)
  • 25
    Submitted by claudio18 February 1, 2024 Estimated time: 45~50 minutes

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