Wednesday, 27 January 2016 05:37

ESL Song Lesson: Streets of London (homelessness discussion lesson)

This is a discussion based ESL lesson about homelessness, the reasons behind homelessness and what we can do as a society to solve the problem. It is a topic that your students are bound to be interested in and it serves as a great platform for your students to express themselves. Often English students, especially in China, think that the west is super rich and that everyone has money. This is an important lesson to teach them that this isn't true whatsoever. Streets of London was written and written and performed by Ralph McTell

Download The Streets of London by Ralph McTell here - you'll be helping too

How to Teach this Class
As a warmer, play hangman with the students. After the mystery word has been revealed (homelessness), ask your students what it means. From their answers, develop a small discussion about homelessness. The main discussion comes later, after listening to the song.
Tell the students that they are going to listen to a song about homelessness. The people in the song don’t want to be homeless and they are sad and lonely. The students should work in pairs to fill in the missing words. Play the song twice and then go through the answers at the end.
Following the song, ask your students to discuss in their pairs the following questions. Get feedback from the pairs just as you hear the discussions begin to die down (never wait too long, so that there is silence!)
1. Why is the man reading yesterday's newspaper?
2. What does it mean by "carrying her home" in two bags?
3. Why do you think the man makes each cup of tea last an hour?
4. What do the faded medal ribbons represent?
5. Why does the world not care about the elderly hero?
After pairs have given you feedback, you can use the conversation questions or go your own way with the lesson.
by Stuart Allen
Stuart Allen

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