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Poems and song lyrics

Discussion in 'English' started by aliek, Jan 2, 2008.

  1. Has anyone ever introduced a unit on poetry by looking at song lyrics? Any ideas about how I could do this?
  2. Has anyone ever introduced a unit on poetry by looking at song lyrics? Any ideas about how I could do this?
  3. Many years ago I did this. I used a bit of Alanis Morrissette as she was well known at the time. You could also look at rap (although being careful to avoid anything with rude words in it).
  4. montyjacs

    montyjacs New commenter

    I've used John Lennon's Imagine in the past which produced some interesting work and seemed to go down well.
  5. not quite the same thing but we have used childhood and oldage as a theme for poetry unit and included songs like the jcb song and the beatles when I'm 64 etc
  6. Issue the poetry challenge. Get them to bring in any song lyrics about love and match them with a poem on the same theme. There are only so many themes on love - unrequited, over and I´m glad/sad, beginning and it´s wonderful, swearing undying love etc etc.
    Examples of matches - Carole King´s Might as Well Rain Until September/ Shakespeare´s sonnet How Like a Winter hath my Absence Been from You; Al Green´s I Can´t get Next to You/ Marvell´s To His Coy Mistress.
  7. I get them to look at how poetry is all around them, all of the time - in song lyrics, in graffiti, in playground games, in adverts, in cards, on gravestones etc. etc. Just to try to make them see how it influences them and can mean something to them.
  8. I use this as an opportunity to do a speaking and listening assessment and get the students doing a short presentation on the lyrics of their fav song - what they suggest, why they like it etc. They can then play an extract from their song on my cd player (sometimes censored!).

    There's a whole unit on this in here:

    And you can also buy a DVD that goes with the book.

    I've also used the Ms Dynamite song 'Dy-Na-Mi-Te' and Eminem's 'Stan' with my groups - looking at the story and meanings behind the lyrics.
  9. Thanks everyone for your suggestions...

    I can't find anything on that site to do with song lyrics, hepburn22-might be being a bit think though!

    I am now trying to compile a list of songs that are quite 'poetic.' I have come up with a few:

    Music of the Night (although won't be that popular!)
    Blowing in the Wind (Dylan)?
    Stairway to Heaven (Zeppelin)?

    Any other suggestions? My minds gone blank as far as more recent stuff...

    I suppose it might be interesting to do something on ballads and songs...'stan' would be good with this...hmmm...

    I think I am now going to use this as the latter half of my unit, after looking at poetic techniques and reading and writing some 'traditional' poetry so give the kids some comparison.

    Still grateful for any further ideas, but thanks for all the help I've been given so far...have loads to think about now...
  10. Sorry Aliek - that link was meant to be for a book on the English and Media Centre website called 'The Poetry Book.' It has lots of good units, and one in particular on poems and song lyrics with lots of fab ideas in.
  11. I've had that book for ages but never looked at it properly...thanks for the tip!
  12. Tee hee - you'd better find it then!!
  13. Facetious

    Facetious New commenter

    I once taught a lesson on lyrics and poetry comparison in order to explore the differences. It was quite a good laugh actually, as I read out several examples and the pupils had to decide whether it was from a song or a poem. Reading Tinie Tempah lyrics out in a sombre tone fooled them for quite some time. Something like this would be a good starter for the lesson ideas that others have mentioned.
  14. Most children who don't like poetry will admit to liking popular music.
    However the problem with going down this path is that most everyday poetry isn't strong enough to stand on its own. Write out the lyrics without the music and they sound inane. Real poetry is different.


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