Posted in Activities, Music

The Castle Song #atozchallenge

I don’t always understand the logic of textbooks and I admit, I tend to go with my gut on this. Even if the authors have decades of experience and me, well, not so much, it’s my class, my kids and my way 🙂

There was this song in one of the books, about a castle, its cellar and spooky rooms filled with animals and scary things.


(Sorry about the pic, it’s the only one I have, I forgot to take one for this post lol)

First, it’s a lot of words and expressions. Second, the book only wanted us to read the text and then sing along to the song.

I don’t know about other 9-year-olds but these particular ones in my class are just too restless to read and sing, especially if they don’t understand the text very well. So seeing there were a lot of animals mentioned, I thought we should focus on those.

Activity 1: read the text and underline the animals

Activity 2: discuss what each animal is by miming what they do (cue to lots of laughter when a girl lies down to wither like a snake on the floor or a boy mimes a spider with long fangs [I do not want to meet the spider he was thinking of!!])

Activity 3: listen to the song and read along (I didn’t ask them to sing but I did so a couple of them joined in)

Activity 4: assign animals to kids and explain them to stand up and mime it when they hear it mentioned in the song

Activity 5: listen to the song, sing and mime the animal

Man, was it a lot of fun! Total chaos, too, especially when a list of animals was mentioned quickly, but lots and lots of fun! We repeated it two or three times. The song had a good melody, interesting but easy enough to learn it quickly so there was a little bit of singing but mostly, it was listening and laughing.

The advantages? They were listening to the song with a focus, practised the words with movements and of course laughed a lot 🙂

It’s an activity that’s easy enough to do with any songs in any books and miming is usually very welcome by the kids.

(Or adults as well. I based this exercise on an activity we used to in AIESEC conferences. The audience was divided into two parts and through a projector alternating lines of the Bohemian Rhapsody had to be sung by the different parts standing up. It got really funny at the quick parts where lines were so short you couldn’t even stand up in that time. Ah, good times!)


In April I set myself a challenge to use more music when teaching English. I passionately believe in the power of music to make everything better and I want to motivate my students to feel more relaxed, and at the same time more inspired about learning English. I’m sure it’ll be a journey with ups and downs! 😉


What’s your opinion of children’s songs? Do you like them in general? Do you have a favourite?

Today’s featured blogger is Guilie Castillo, my fabulous teammate in Damyanti’s D Company. This month she blogs about how to rescue dogs with the best results. Click here for a useful and entertaining read!

Please visit one of my other blogs, The Script Bible where I share beautiful picture quotes from The Script songs. 

Thank you for visiting!



My soul breathes music and exhales words.

9 thoughts on “The Castle Song #atozchallenge

  1. I wonder at the logic in having such large classes, and why we give so little funding to education. I think in the ideal world teachers would only have four students, and they would be able to devote to activities. I really think we could do this. However, maybe I am such an idealist.


    1. We’re quite fortunate as a private language school, only 10 kids in this particular group (some less) which I think isn’t big at all. But I agree, some schools have 30+ kids, hard to teach a language with that many in class.


  2. Oh, I love children’s songs. It’s great, especially when you are learning a new language. I started learning norwegian and I had only two lessons of 90 minutes up to now. Nevertheless I looked for easy songs in the internet with the norwegian text underneath to get to know the new sounds of letters and letter-combinations into my head. Then I tried to sing along and made lots of mistakes and was too slow, but it’s great fun to try and a wonderful experience as I noticed that it was easier each time I tried.

    And then I found the ABC-song and the norwegian version of “If you’re happy and you know it clapp your hands” and I remembered one of my English lessons of the first year when we sang the song at school. 😀


  3. Andrea, you’ve got a knack for this teaching gig of yours. Yes, the logic behind textbooks makes no sense sometimes, and kudos to you for being committed enough to change it around to suit not just your taste but your kids’ learning experience. This sounds like a GREAT lesson!

    Thanks so much for the sweet shout-out! I’m glad you’re enjoying the dog rescue posts 🙂


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