At the moment Great Songs for the English Classroom is only available as a pdf file and it has to be ordered through Robert Thomson rsthomson1940@gmail.com Price: $3.00 (U.S.)

Great Songs for the English Classroom (Thirty thought-provoking songs for high school students to reflect on and analyze.) This book contains tips for teaching with close outlines. Students fill in the blanks (This is a good review of basics.) then they correct their version. Class discussion follows and leads to individual journal writing. The journal offers students a forum in which to explore important issues: love, friendship, peer pressure, parental neglect, alienation, and anger. The author contends that some popular songs of the past fifty years ask good questions and provoke a response. Cat’s in the Cradle (Harry Chapin) deals with parental neglect. She’s Leaving Home (The Beatles) is about alienation in the family. At Seventeen (Janis Ian) tells of negative peer group pressure in high school and college. Vincent (Don McLean) raises awareness about creative people who are ostracized. And so on. Working with clozes helps students to become aware of important issues in their lives. For the teacher short of time, working on a cloze can be done in twenty minutes. It’s an effective way to add variety to your program of studies and it works wonders with students who tend to be unmotivated and/or inattentive.


THREE COMMENTS BY STUDENTS

I like working on songs because they are about my life. When you fill in the blanks to the songs, you understand them. I wish we could have done more.

Now when I hear songs we have studied I pay more attention to them and I have some insight into the stories they tell.

I have never been in a class where everyone can be so open. I think it is good for people to talk things out. Many people get rid of a lot of frustrations in this class, but most of all we learn a lot about people and life. The real world.