‘Hairspray’ musical lesson plan – 1/4

This is the first part of a lesson plan based on some songs from Hairspray. It’s not about any specific grammar point, it focuses on speaking and listening skills and expressing personal opinion.

Yes, the woman in blue is John Travolta.

Yes, the woman in blue is John Travolta.

1. Good Morning, Baltimore (30 min)

a) Conversation with the students.

– What would you like to be in the future?
– Have you got any special dream?
– How often do you think about your future?
– Do you talk about your plans to anybody?
– Would you like to be an actor/actress, an artist or a dancer? Why?

b) Tracy, from Baltimore, dreams of being a dancer and she thinks about it on her way to school. This is what she thinks.

I woke up today feeling the way I always do, hungry for something that I can’t eat. Then I hear that beat. The rhythm of town starts calling me down. It’s like a message from high above pulling me out to the smiles and the streets that I love.

Good morning, Baltimore. Every day’s like an open door. Every night is a fantasy. Every sound is like a symphony. And some day, when I take to the floor, the world’s going to wake up and see Baltimore and me.

Look at my hair. What do can compare with mine today? I’ve got my hairspray and radio, I’m ready to go. The rats on the street all dance round my feet. They seem to say “Tracy, it’s up to you”. So, don’t hold me back because today all my dreams will come true.

Good morning, Baltimore. There’s the flasher who lives next door. There’s the bum on his bar room stool. They wish me luck on my way to school. And some day, when I take to the floor,
The world’s going to wake up and see Baltimore and me.

I know every step. I know every song. I know there’s a place where I belong. I see all those party lights shining ahead, so someone invite me before I drop dead!

So, give me a chance because when I start to dance I’m a movie star. Something inside of me makes me move when I hear the groove. My mum tells me “No”, but my feet tell me “Go!”. It’s like a drummer inside my heart. Don’t make me wait one more moment for my life to start.

I love you, Baltimore. Every day’s like an open door. Every night is a fantasy. Every sound is like a symphony. And I promise, Baltimore, that some day when I take to the floor the world’s going to wake up and see Baltimore and me.

– How would you define Tracy’s personality?
– How do you imagine Tracy is physically?

c) Watch the video.

– Is Tracy as you imagined? (character and appearance)
– What do you think of her?
– Do you think she can be a dancer? Why?
– Would you be friends with her? Why?
– How does appearance affect a person’s life in our society?
– Are there other things that can make a person’s life hard?

d) Match these words and phrases from the text with their definition.

Definitions from Oxford Dictionaries
  1. pull out
  2. do
  3. up to
  4. hold sb back
  5. flasher
  6. bum
  7. stool
  8. groove
  1. a particular rhythm in popular or jazz music
  2. a seat without a back or arms, typically resting on three or four legs or on a single pedestal
  3. a person without a settled home or regular work who wanders from place to place and lives by begging
  4. a man who exposes his genitals in public
  5. prevent or restrict the progress or development of someone
  6. the responsibility or choice of someone
  7. the style of a woman’s hair
  8. retreat or cause to retreat from an area

Teacher’s notes

a) Expressing opinion

– I think (that)…
– I suppose (that)…
– I guess (that)…
– I believe (that)…
– In my opinion, …
– If you ask me, …
– From my point of view, …
– As far as I’m concerned, …

b) Adjectives of personality

– chatty
– cheerful
– creative
– easy-going
– friendly
– funny
– imaginative
– independent
– loyal
– mean
– moody
– nice
– optimistic
– outgoing
– quiet
– selfish
– serious
– stubborn

c) Answers to part d

1-h, 2-g, 3-f, 4-e, 5-d, 6-c, 7-b, 8-a.

Funny remark

Should a Harry Potter fan be among your students, at some point they’ll sing “Good morning, Voldemort”.

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2 thoughts on “‘Hairspray’ musical lesson plan – 1/4

  1. Pingback: This was 2016 in the blog | Either a linguist or a chemist be

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