My husband said I just needed an excuse to listen to her voice. He was right.
Anyway, this is how I did it: I played the audio of Susan singing Cry Me a River (it is much less famous than Les Miserables and it is a beautiful song) and I asked the students to imagine the woman singing it. Needless to say, they concluded she was tall, slim, beautiful, in her 30s and had long hair. They couldn't agree whether she was a blonde or a brunette. Then I showed them Susan's photo and everybody recognised her. They had all seen the You Tube video or at least heard about it.
After that I did different things. In my Intermediate class I pretended I was Susan and they interviewed me. I used their questions and my answers to revise indirect speech. Then we discussed the whole Susan Boyle phenomenon and we talked about our own dreams and ambitions. Finally, I gave them the Cry Me a River lyrics. In the Pre-Intermediate class I used the lyrics to introduce a couple of phrases and idioms ("You drove me out of my head", "You said that you were through with me") and then they decided to sing along. In CPE we got more philosophical and discussed the economic chrisis and the music industry.
And I am not the only one. I know of at least two EFL teachers who came up with their own Susan Boyle lesson plans. Check out Karenne's post (the lesson plan can be downloaded) and then visit Susana's blog. Susana's students left some great comments.
Why does this type of lesson plan work?
Well, it is up to date and, as one of my students said, "She gives people hope." We can always do with a little hope in an EFL class. We can do with a little hope everywhere.
If you have your own Susan Boyle lesson plan, please share it here. Or just come and brainstorm your ideas in the comments section. If you are reading this and you are not an EFL teacher, you can still share your ideas here. Or your dreams.
Let's have a Susan Boyle moment.