Wednesday, 27 January 2016 01:54

ESL Song Lesson: California Dreamin' (Colours, Seasons, Home)

The sounds of the late 60's produced some enduring songs that we all still know and love. One of the very best was the Mama's and Papa's California Dreamin'

This ESL song lesson is perfect for lower-level teens and adults. It's a very simple song for beginners to practice listening for colours, basic action, verbs, seasons, and simple adjectives

The California Dreamin' song can be downloaded immediately here. You'll be helping this website to stay open too.

Put students in pairs and give them these questions to ask each other:
1. What’s your favourite season? Why?
2. What do people usually do in their free time in this season?
3. What’s your favourite colour? Why?
Task 1
Hand out the gap fill lyric sheet. Go through the words together to clarify meaning of anything such as L.A., California, preacher, and gonna.
Play the song twice and students fill in the missing words they hear. Check the answers.
Task 2
Analyze the song with your students. Ask them these ESL concept questions:
1. Does the singer miss L.A.? How do we know? (Yes. “I’d be safe and warm if I was in L.A.)
2. How does he describe the place where he is now? (grey, brown, cold)
Draw on these themes and ask students to think about their own hometowns.

Brainstorm on the board words associated with ‘hometown’, including places, people, things to see and do, feelings, etc.

In pairs, get students to discuss these questions:
1. If you were away from your hometown what would you miss? (except family and friends) Why?
2. How does your hometown make you feel?
3. Think of two colours to describe each season in your hometown.
Why did you choose these colours?

Lesson written by Phil Senior

Phil Senior is a British teacher living and working in Xi'an. Phil is an ESL materials specialist having written course materials for EF Education First in China, Russia and Indonesia. Some of his work will be used for the Brazil 2016 Olympics. He is also a former IELTS examiner for The British Council.

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