An ESL/EFL listening exercise for the song "Dumb ways to die", which has gone viral on the internet - about 50 million people have watched it so far (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJNR2EpS0jw). Authored by John Mescall, this song was commissioned by the Australian Railway company to encourage passengers to be cautious at train stations. Its dark humor and cute characters made it an instant hit among both adults and children.
This song could be connected with the topic of public transportation, urban life or the Darwin Awards. In my class, I used it to connect to the previous class where students wrote and shared their bucket lists with eachother.
1. Warmer: Show 4 characters. Let students guess what happened to them. Introduce the song, and before listening, elicit some more dumb ways to die. Discuss the suggestions briefly with the class.
2. Listen to the song. Have students fill in as many gaps as possible. Listen again, then discuss each character' fate. To speed things up, you can also do the checking by projecting the lyrics onto the board, if you have that technology in class.
Here's the characters in isolated animations:
Other pedagogical goals
This song is just so silly. Even adults love it. This was actually an ad commissioned by a railway company, I think in Australia to remind people to be careful around trains and railway tracks. It addressess the somber topic of death in a cute and humorous way.
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