a song lesson on plastic pollution

If you were to pick three things you really love in life, which three things would you pick? I would definitely pick English (including learning, teaching, training and writing), music and traveling in no specific order. Today I will be sharing with you the music hat that I wear sometimes in life.

A few months ago I wrote a song about plastic pollution. It started off as a potential song for children, which I introduced to my friend and drum set teacher Richard Majo in order to get his expert opinion. He seemed to like it and judged that he didn’t merely see it as an educational song or as a song for children. He viewed it as a rather catchy reggae tune. I also approached my very good friend Charles Goodger, founder of FunSongs, and writer of action songs for learning English (if you teach children and you enjoy using action songs, this site is a gem) and his views were pretty much along those lines. I was going to adapt and simplify the lyrics for its final version but as it transpired from these formed opinions, I decided to leave it as it was.

Here is the song.

And here are the LYRICS

I got the inspiration for this song on a recent visit to Thailand. One day I took a day trip on a longtail boat to Monkey Beach, close to Phi Phi Island. I wasn’t particulary bothered about the crowds of people, who, like me, wanted to see this breathtaking place, as I was part of the problem as well. What really bugged me was that what seemed to be a substantial number of individuals were quite pleased with having bottles of water “nicked” from the monkeys, who grabbed them, lifted them up and drank from them in human fashion. It was fun to watch but needless to say, those bottles ended up being tossed on the shore. Nobody did a thing to pick them up. There were tons of empty bottles scattered around from days and weeks past. And I was very saddened to witness this.

This is a possible fruitful activity. Ask your learners to google “plastic in the sea infographic” and give them time to explore a few. Then ask them these questions:

  • what was the most shocking thing you learned? (mine was that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean -by weight- than fish)
  • plastic does not go away. What happens to it?
  • what are the most common types of plastic waste found in the oceans? (straws are one of the worst offenders)

Then you can play the song and give a copy of the lyrics for the students to read as they listen to it. And then, why not sing it? It’s quite catchy!


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