TESOL Lesson Plan: Using a Song to Teach Integrated Skills

This Intermediate+ lesson plan uses the song Puff the Magic Dragon to teach integrated skills

TESOL lesson plan by OnTESOL graduate-

TESOL lesson plan integrated skills with songsType of lesson: Listening lesson that integrates speaking, reading and writing skills using the song Puff the Magic Dragon

Level: Intermediate+

Aims: Using a song to develop skim and scan listening skills
To review and teach related vocabulary as well as its pronunciation
To integrate speaking, reading and writing skills into the activity
To provide students with practice summarizing and retelling
To provide students with practice identifying and analyzing the meaning of a story

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Assumptions: Students are familiar with skim and scan listening techniques. They are familiar with most of the vocabulary presented in the song. They are familiar with summarizing and retelling, as well as discussing story themes.

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Anticipated problems and solutions: There might be quite a bit of uncommon vocabulary in the song that the students are not used to. It is also possible that the way certain sentences are phrased would be confusing to them. For this reason, the most troublesome vocabulary should be introduced before the listening. In the activities following the listening, any other difficult vocabulary or phrases should be examined and reviewed.
The students may have some difficulty understanding the main themes and events of the story as it is told in a somewhat indirect way. Towards the end of the lesson, the students should be asked to summarize the story in their own words and then try to identify its meaning.

Time: 90 minutes

Material: Song “Puff the Magic Dragon,” picture cards, Task 1 worksheet, divided up song lyrics, sticky tape, chalkboard

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PRESENTATION STAGE

1. Creating interest in the topic
Technique: Discussion and personalization
Interactive Pattern: T-S, S-S
Time: 10 minutes
Material: chalkboard

Teacher: Today, I want you to think back to when you were a child. Did you ever pretend with your friends or by yourself? What does it mean to pretend? (Encourage students to come up with a definition for the word pretend)

Students: (Possible responses) To imagine something that is not really there, to imagine that you are something that you are not.

Teacher: Yes, very good. With your partner, I want you to think of and discuss some things that you used to pretend as a child.
The teacher gives the students several minutes to discuss this with their partners and then asks a few students to volunteer their answers. These might include pretending to be a princess or an astronaut or pretending to be a policeman or robber.

Teacher: Very interesting, thank you! Now think for a moment, did any of you ever have an imaginary friend (teacher writes this word on the board)? That is, a friend who was not real, a friend that you imagined or pretended with (give them a moment to think about this). Well, today we are going to listen to a very famous song called Puff the Magic Dragon, which tells the story of a boy and his imaginary friend. Has anyone here heard this song before? We will listen to it several times today and do some listening activities. First, though, we need to review some important vocabulary.

2. Teaching/reviewing necessary vocabulary
Technique: Guessing the meanings of words through visual aid and elicitation
Interactive Pattern: T-S, S-S
Time: 15-20 minutes
Material: picture cards, chalkboard, sticky tape

The teacher asks the students to work with a partner and then passes out twelve picture cards. The class size will depend on how many cards each group gets. Each card will have a picture on one side. The other side will have the vocabulary word that goes with it as well as the word “noun,” “verb,” or “adjective.” The teacher then writes the twelve words on the board with a reasonable amount of space between each one:
Frolic
Mist
Rascal
Sealing wax
Fancy
Sail
Noble
Pirate
Roar
Cease
Scale
Lane

Teacher: Does everyone have a card? What I would like you to do is, with your partner; look at the picture on the front and the words on back. On each card, you will be able to see if it is a noun, a verb, or an adjective. From this, try to figure out what the word means. Also, think of a simple sentence that you can use the word in. I will give you five minutes to do this.

The students talk among themselves for about five minutes, trying to guess the meaning of the word and how to use it in a sentence.

Feedback: At the end of five minutes, the teacher goes through the list of vocabulary words on the board, calling on the group of students that had that specific word to say what they think it means and how they would use it in a sentence. If the students in the group did not arrive at a proper meaning, they may show the rest of the class their picture and other students in the room may try to guess its meaning. It is possible that certain pictures will confuse the students. They may think that the picture for “mist” is of a tree or that the picture for “lane” is of the countryside. If so, the teacher should indicate what in the picture they need to look for. Also, with certain words, further explanation by the teacher might be necessary. For example, with the word “rascal,” the students would most likely come up with the words “naughty” or “bad” or “bad child.” The teacher may want to specify that a rascal is someone who often gets into trouble and misbehaves, but is not necessary bad or evil. A rascal misbehaves the way a child misbehaves. Also, with the word “pirate,” the teacher might ask, “what does a pirate do, where does he live?” In this way, the teacher should elicit that a pirate is a sailor, usually a criminal who steals the goods of other ships.

Once each word has been discussed, the teacher or student should go to the board, write “noun,” “verb,” or “adjective” next to the word, and tack their picture to the board next to the word using tape or some other substance. If the board is not large enough to do this, the teacher can ask the student to write a simple definition next to the word on the board. These should be left on the board for the remainder of the lesson.

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3. Vocabulary word pronunciation

Technique: Pronouncing through drilling
Interactive Pattern: T-S
Time: 5 minutes
Material: picture cards, chalkboard

Once the pictures are positioned on the board next to their vocabulary word, the teacher should go through the list, drilling the students on their pronunciation. The teacher may want to underline the part of the word that is emphasized when spoken.
Fro-lic
Mist
Ras-cal
Sea-ling wax
Fan-cy
Sail
No-ble
Pi-rate
Roar
Cease
Scale
Lane

The parts of the words in bold show where they are emphasized when spoken. The dashes between the letters show syllables or breaks in the words. With the word “pirate,” the teacher may want to point out that the “a” is still a short vowel even though there is an “e” at the end of the word.

PRACTICE STAGE

4. Task 1: Getting the gist (skimming)
Technique: Listening for the gist with short-answer questions
Interactive Pattern: Individual, S-S, T-S
Time: 10 minutes
Material: Task 1 worksheet

The teacher hands out the task 1 worksheet to the students and gives them a chance to read through the questions. For this task, the students can work with their partner or individually.
Teacher: Now, we are going to listen to the song through once. For now, I would only like you to focus on answering these questions; please read through them carefully.

The teacher plays the song through once, here are the lyrics:
Puff the Magic Dragon

Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee,
Little Jackie Paper loved that rascal Puff,
And brought him strings and sealing wax and other fancy stuff. oh

Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee,
Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee.

Together they would travel on a boat with billowed sail
Jackie kept a lookout perched on puffs gigantic tail,
Noble kings and princes would bow whenever they came,
Pirate ships would lower their flag when Puff roared out his name. oh!
[ Lyrics from: http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/p/peter_paul_mary/puff_the_magic_dragon.html ]
Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee,
Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee.

A dragon lives forever but not so little boys
Painted wings and giant rings make way for other toys.
One grey night it happened, Jackie Paper came no more
And Puff that mighty dragon, he ceased his fearless roar.

His head was bent in sorrow, green scales fell like rain,
Puff no longer went to play along the cherry lane.
Without his life-long friend, Puff could not be brave,
So Puff that mighty dragon sadly slipped into his cave. oh!

Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee,
Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee.

Task 1 Worksheet

1) What is the name of the land where Puff the magic dragon lives? (Honah Lee)
2) What is the name of Puff the magic dragon’s best friend? (Jackie Paper)
3) What is something that Puff and his friend do together (they travel on a ship, they fight pirates, Jackie brings him fancy things, etc.)
4) Is the ending happy or sad? Why? (Sad: Jackie leaves/grows up and Puff is sad)
Feedback: The teacher briefly goes through the four questions with the students, eliciting information when necessary and clearing up any possible confusion. If the students struggled greatly with the first hearing, play it a second time.

5. Task 2: Putting song lyrics in order (Scanning)
Technique: Listening to the song and putting strips of paper in order by their lyrics
Interactive Pattern: S-S, T-S
Time: 10 minutes
Material: Divided up song lyrics
The teacher gives each pair of students a copy of the song’s lyrics but cut up into strips and in incorrect order. Each strip of paper will have a number on it; the refrain of the song will always be labeled as “1.” The teacher should give the students a moment to sort them out on their desks and read through what they say.
Teacher: Now I have given you all the words to the song in strips of paper. We will now listen to the song two more times and, with your partner, I would like you to arrange them, so that by the end, they will be in the correct order.

1
Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee,
6
Little Jackie Paper loved that rascal Puff,
11
And brought him strings and sealing wax and other fancy stuff. oh
1
Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee,
1
Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee.
3
Together they would travel on a boat with billowed sail
7
Jackie kept a lookout perched on puffs gigantic tail,
10
Noble kings and princes would bow whenever they came,
12
Pirate ships would lower their flag when Puff roared out his name. oh!1111111http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/p/peter_paul_mary/puff_the_magic_dragon.ht1
Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee,
1
Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee.
5
A dragon lives forever but not so little boys
13
Painted wings and giant rings make way for other toys.
2
One grey night it happened, Jackie Paper came no more
9
And Puff that mighty dragon, he ceased his fearless roar.
15
His head was bent in sorrow, green scales fell like rain,
4
Puff no longer went to play along the cherry lane.
8
Without his life-long friend, Puff could not be brave,
14
So Puff that mighty dragon sadly slipped into his cave. oh!
1
Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee,
1
Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee.

Feedback: Upon listening to the song through twice, the teacher now asks the students if they can put the lyrics in order. The students should answer by giving the number on the strip and then by reading out what it says. The teacher will list the correct order by numbers on the board. At this point, the teacher may also want to deal with any vocabulary that was not fully understood in the presentation stage. For example:

T: Let’s look at this sentence, “Noble kings and princes would bow whenever they came.” Who is noble in this sentence? Who does the word describe?
S: The kings and princes
T: Right, so that means that to be noble is to be like a king, or more specifically like a good king.
The teacher may also want to take this time to bring up vocabulary that was not mentioned in the presentation stage. For example:
T: So they traveled together on a ship, and it says “Jackie kept a lookout.” What do you think it means to “keep a lookout” when you are on a ship?
S: (Can mimic looking around if they wish) to watch the ocean, to watch for other ships.
Once the class has established a proper order for the lyrics, move on to the next activity.

6. Task 3: Summarizing/interpreting song lyrics (scanning)
Technique: Taking a verse from the song and summarizing/interpreting in your own words
Interactive Pattern: Group work, T-S
Time: 10 minutes
Material: Divided up song lyrics

Now that the students have the song lyrics in order, the teacher divides the class up into four separate groups. Each group will be assigned one of the four verses of the song. The students should read each sentence in their particular verse very carefully and think of how they could reinterpret it. For example, they might summarize the first verse of the song in this way: “There was a magical dragon named Puff and he lived in a land called Honah Lee. His best friend was a boy named Jackie Paper. Jackie Paper would always bring him presents, like string and sealing wax.” If the teacher wishes, this activity can be made more challenging by having each group do several or all of the verses in the song.

Feedback: Have one person from each group present their summary of the assigned verse. The teacher may want to ask the group for an interpretation of a specific sentence in their verse. For example: “His head was bent in sorrow, green scales fell like rain.” What are scales again? What do you think it means that his scales fell like rain?
If there is time, the teacher may also wish to ask one or two students if they can try to summarize the entire song in their own words.

PRODUCTION STAGE

7. Group discussion (speaking activity)
Technique: Considering themes within the song
Interactive Pattern: group work, T-S
Time: 10-15 minutes
Required Material: None

Staying within their groups, the students should discuss the following questions:
1) What really happens to Jackie Paper at the end of the song?
2) Besides being about a boy and his magical dragon, what is this song really about?
3) How would this story be different if it was from Jackie Paper’s point-of-view? Do you think it would be as sad?
While the students are discussing these questions, the teacher may walk around the room and answer any questions that might arise. At the end, one or two students can share their ideas with the class.

8. Writing activity/homework
Technique: Writing a verse to the song
Interactive Pattern: group work, individual
Time: 10-15 minutes
Required Material: None

Now that you have heard the song Puff the Magic Dragon several times, think of how you might write your own verse(s) of four to eight lines. Choose one of the following:
1) Write a verse about other things that Puff and Jackie Paper might have done when they were together. Think of the kinds of things you used to do as a child, what kind of things did you like to pretend?
2) The song says that “a dragon lives forever.” What do you think happened to Puff after Jackie Paper left? Does he find happiness or stay sad? Write a verse of the song describing what you think will happen.