5-minute reading activity: misheard lyrics

The aim of this brief reading activity is for students to identify and correct misheard lyrics in popular songs. It is a fun activity for both older and younger students which tests their reading comprehension and memory, and also encourages creativity. It is a great way to either start or finish the class.

The Task

Students work in pairs to work out which parts of provided lyrics are wrong and how to correct them. You may introduce the activity by asking your students whether they always understand the lyrics to songs. Have they ever heard something wrong and gone on thinking those were the actual words? Like bakers who are gonna bake instead fakers who are gonna fake in Taylor Swift’s song?

Looking for more activities involving music or music videos? Take a look here, here, and here.

Personal Experience

This activity always proves to be lots of fun. Whereas it is pretty easy to identify the wrong word, it might be different to come up with the correct one. It turns out that reading lyrics without hearing the song makes is hard to recall the actual words so the only solution here is trying to use logic or awaken one’s inner poet. Either way, students usually have fun trying to reconstruct the songs and share examples of lyrics they were wrong about. I usually reward their efforts by playing the most difficult song and showing the lyrics.


Misheard Lyrics

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