Music videos have the potential to create and expand the context of a lesson. They can bring the topic of a coursebook alive and stimulate debate and conversation. This lesson uses the video from Coldplay’s hit song ‘Paradise’ to look at the concept of ‘paradise’ around the context of zoos. The lesson culminates in a zoo debate.
Music Video: ‘Paradise’ – Coldplay (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1G4isv_Fylg)
- Using the title of the song as a prompt, students are asked: ‘What/where is your paradise? Students share their answers with a partner/group and open class feedback.
- Students are provided with questions to answer whilst watching the video:
a. Who is the main character?
b. At the beginning, where is he? How does he feel?
c. Where is he going?
d. How does he get there?
e. What’s his paradise?
3. After watching the video the students share their answers in pairs/groups and through open class feedback.
Answers may vary:
a. an elephant.
b. Zoo, angry and sad.
d. bike, subway, airplane, unicycle, determination, fight, strength etc.
e. Freedom, family, friends, music, dancing, nature, Africa, sunshine, the wilderness etc.
4. Students are shown various pictures of animals in the zoo. They discuss the happiness of the animals.
5. Guided debate: Students are divided into groups and each group is allocated with either a +ve or –ve stance (Zoo’s are good because/Zoo’s are bad because). Groups make a list of reasons for their stance.
6. The teacher facilitates the debate. Teams take turns sharing their opinions.
Expand the activity –
(i) Compare and contrast the lyrics meanings with the music video.
(ii) Explore the themes further by showing another interpretation of the lyrics: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=myV_7Ib22ow