Marta J. Sabbadini, British Council, Cameroon
This is a fun activity which helps students listen out for key words. It's particularly useful for encouraging students to recognise familiar words even in difficult texts. This activity works well with all kinds of songs, and can be used to introduce a song, or simply as an enjoyable warmer or cooler.
You will need to choose a song for your class and have copies of the lyrics. You also need to produce a set of cards per group of 4 / 5 students, so work out how many you need for your class. The sets of cards (each in an envelope) should consist of around 20 words, some taken from the song (words your students will recognise), whilst others are not from the song, but are similar in meaning / sound to the words from the song.
You can download example cards here for 'The World's Greatest' by R. Kelly
Note: this activity can be used at all levels - it just depends on the words you put on the cards. 'Difficult' songs can be made do-able if the words chosen are simple and easy to pick out. Similarly, an 'easy' song can be made more challenging for high level students by choosing words that are difficult to hear, or putting in words with very similar sounds.