Lesson Plan with the Song
"Wind of Change"

It's a good idea to include different kinds of activities in your lesson plans to keep your classes interesting and fun. Students love to work with music, especially songs that talk about topics that are real and interesting to them. Use this complete lesson plan to work with the song "Wind of Change" by Scorpions with your intermediate or advanced English students.

Click Here for Step-by-Step Rules, Stories and Exercises to Practice All English Tenses

Click Here for Step-by-Step Rules, Stories and Exercises to Practice All Tenses

happy teacher throwing papers in the air

It's important for your lessons to be well-planned and for you to use different materials and activities. You can find some great pre-planned lessons on our site.

If you're looking to have some fun with a great song that can teach your students about vocabulary and also stimulate an interesting conversation about history and current events, try out this lesson plan for the song "Wind of Change" by the band Scorpions.

Before you begin working with your students, listen to the song. Remember that it is very important to always work with legal digital videos! You can check the information under the video to see that the copyright is correctly attributed and that the user has the right to share the video.

Review the lyrics, which you can easily find online. Print out copies of the lyrics for your students.

1. Introduction (10 minutes)

a happy teacher with books

Begin by telling your students a little bit about the song. It was recorded in 1990 by the band Scorpions. Although the song is in English, the band is from Germany! This is important when we think about the historical context of the song.

Begin by asking your students what they know about German history during the late 1980s.

Some of your students might remember that in 1989, the Berlin Wall was demolished. The Berlin Wall was built in 1961 and divided East Berlin from West Berlin. These two territories were important in the Cold War, a power struggle between the Soviet Union and Western powers like the United States and Great Britain.

You do not need to be a history expert to talk about these events. The most important thing for you and your students to discuss is that the wall represented a physical barrier constructed for political reasons. Many people could not see their family members or move freely just because they lived on one side of the wall.

Have a brief discussion about what it might be like to live in that kind of situation. Remind your students that after the wall was demolished in a wave of popular demonstrations, Germany was reunited in 1990. What is their opinion about these events?

2. Listen to the song (15 minutes)

a guitar

Now you and your students are ready to listen to the song together. Be sure they all have their worksheets with the lyrics on them so that they can follow along as they listen.

Have them underline any words they don't understand. You will go over them after you listen to the song together. If they can see the video, you can also have them pay attention to some of the images.

If you want, you can leave some blank spaces in the lyrics and have your students fill them in. You should do this with words that are easy to understand and are repeated in the song. Decide whether to do this based on your students' level.

Once the song is finished, work together to define any new words. Be sure to look up any expressions or names you don't know on the internet before class!

3. Discussion (10 minutes)

a man enjoying music

What did your students think of the song? Do they enjoy this type of music? What did they think about the lyrics? Now that you have listened to the song and talked about the context, do your students think the song is about history?

If the students did not understand all the words or need another chance to fill in some of the blanks, you can listen to the song again.

4. Writing activity (15 minutes)

a boy using a typewriter

Now it is time for your students to be creative! Give them some of the most important phrases in the song and have them write their own ideas about what these phrases mean to them.

You can use:
  • "the children of tomorrow"
  • "the wind of change"
  • "freedom bell"
  • "the future's in the air"
  • "share their dreams"
They can associate these phrases with historical events, their own ideas about the future, the images in the video, their own lives, etc. Once they have had time to write down their ideas, they should share them with the rest of the class.

If you have three or four students, you can all share your ideas together. If you have a larger class, this is a good opportunity for group or pair work. You can move around the room to help the students talk in English about their ideas. 

5. Wrap-up (10 minutes)

a band playing musical instruments

You and your students have done great work! You should use the last ten minutes to answer any last questions your students may have.

You can review the new vocabulary words that you learned and have your students help you use them in sentences to be sure they understand. You can also write some of the most interesting ideas your students had on the board so that everyone can discuss them.

Give your students a short activity to do at home with the skills and topics you've worked on today. You might ask them to research the Berlin Wall or some other historical event that has come up in the discussion. You might also ask them to read about the band Scorpions on the internet. Be sure they read in English and write a few sentences about what they learned to share in the next class.
a happy student with an excellent grade

Keeping your lessons fun and interesting will help your students be successful. Enjoy!

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