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The first major change I made was to bring music into my classroom every week, no matter how busy I was or how much I felt I needed to teach certain concepts. Because I am not a lover of Mondays, I decided to start the week with a song. I'll admit that it has been very time-consuming finding the perfect song each week, and even more challenging if you teach the same students for several years in a row. That requires a LOT of songs! See, you can't just bring in a song just because you don't like Mondays. You have to have the right song for the concepts you are working on, and you have to know your audience. In my case, do teenagers like what I like? I am 20+ years older than they are, so maybe not.
Here are some fun ways I like to use songs and music:1. Teach note-taking and culture by creating short Power Points about the singers. These generally take 10-15 minutes to make by doing a quick Google search and some copying and pasting. It is great to help students understand the diversity of the French-speaking world. I find that it helps my kids relate more to the countries we are studying if they can become familiar with some of the country's people.
2. Create a cloze activity by erasing some of the lyrics. I like to do this when we are working on specific vocabulary or verb tenses. There are lyrics available easily online with a quick Google search. Just copy and paste into a document, then delete the words you want them to write in. Super easy!
3. Have students memorize the song to help them retain certain problematic structures.
4. Show them the video and have them make inferences based on what they see.
5. Create a writing prompt or discussion prompt based on the video. This is great for upper level classes.
6. Find a video with the lyrics and have a lip-syncing contest. This is super fun if you have some less-shy classes, and it is a fun way to practice French if some classes are ahead of the others and you are looking for something fun to do while the others catch up.
Great songs easily found on Youtube that might not already be on your playlist:
For teaching vocabulary and verbs1. Ma Valise - Dorothée
This is a great song when teaching travel vocabulary, clothes, or just when you want to review a lot of nouns. The video is silly, and my high-schoolers groan when they see it and then grudgingly admit that they like it!
2. Jean Petit qui Danse -comptine, many versions available on Youtube
This is great for body parts.
3. J'aime les fruits - Alain le Lait
This is great for...yep, fruits.
Alain le Lait has a ton of great videos available on Youtube for beginners!
4. Bonjour les amis, comment ça va ?
Sing this to If you're happy and you know it.
5. Si tu as été à Tahiti - Albert DePaname
Funny video! This is great for the passé composé. I print the lyrics with some verbs missing, and have them fill in the missing words. Plays on the season été and the past participle été.
6. On ira - Zaz
This is great for the futur simple.
Favorites at the beginning of the year to set the tone for a positive year and get them excited about the music (great for any level). Remember, the goal with beginners is not that they understand the entire song. You want them to begin to understand the cultures and appreciate the diversity of the French-speaking world.1. Ose - Yannick Noah
I like to use this for goal setting.
2. Dima - Zaho
I think this is great for presenting the diversity of the French world.
3. Ma philosophie - Amel Bent
This song has a really positive message.
4. L'amour à la française - Les Fatals Picards
The video is too funny!
5. Comme des enfants - Coeur de Pirate
One of my all-time favorite singers!
6. Parce qu'on vient de loin - Corneille
Great for demonstrating the diversity of the French-speaking world.
7. Au soleil - Jenifer
We use this when studying southern France.
8. Toi plus moi - Gregoire
My kids love this song! We use it to discuss how sometimes, when things are rough, we have to think positively and make an effort to look at the bright side of things.
9. Magic in the air - Magic System
There is some English, and this can be reassuring to new French students.
10. Tourne - Shy'm
This song is good for beginners, because it appeals to teenagers. For more advanced learners, it is a good speaking or writing prompt. Does modern life have to be so fast-paced? What do you to to relax?
11. Tu n'es plus là - Amel Bent
This video is sad, and should not be used if you have students who have experienced the loss of a loved one, but it is great for any level to make inferences based on what they see.
12. A nos actes manqués - M. Pokora
What could we miss out on if we don't make the best of every moment?
Here are some singers and/or songs that I love for intermediate to advanced learners:For writing/speaking prompts, these songs have great ideas to write about and/or discuss:
Carmen - Stromae
Papoutai - Stromae - My classes LOVE Stromae!
Une Américaine à Paris - Rupa and the April Fishes
Je suis moi - Shy'm
Je veux - Zaz
Dernière danse - Indila
And last of all, some fun holiday songs for all classes!La chanson des squelettes - I have no idea who made it, but we started our Halloween party with it!
Le Rock de la sorcière - Stéphy Prod
Quand le Père Noël vient me visiter - Suzanne Pinel
Petit Papa Noël - original by Tino Rossi, but there are many new versions available
Vive le vent - French version of Jingle Bells
Au royaume du bonhomme hiver - French version of Winter Wonderland
For Earth Day:
Respire -Mickey 3D - This video is great and it really gets a discussion going. There is a grown up word here, so beware! You can use this with older kids who won't make an issue, or simply don't mention it. If they are not native French speakers, they won't understand, but if you are uncomfortable with this, I'd just avoid this song.
Aux arbres citoyens - Yannick Noah
Thanks to Glitter Meets Glue for the clip art. You can visit her store here: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Glitter-Meets-Glue-Designs