The Beatles treasure hunt

This time I am going to make an exception and write about an original and fun-filled activity that does require a fair amount of preparation. Yes, it deviates from the zero or minimal preparation nature of the activities that I blog about but it’s already created for you to try it out and decide if you would like to eventually create something of that sort. 

It’s a listening game based on snippets from music videoclips. I decided to choose The Beatles for no particular reason. Well, perhaps there were some underlying reasons now that I start to think of it. The Beatles are well-known, they are one of my favourite bands, I am very familiar with their music and lyrics and most of their listening material is not too difficult to understand.

Step one. First thing, I created a Padlet, which I am a big fan of. Click here to find out more about this digital noticeboard and for some teaching ideas. 

Step two. Then I went on Google and typed “Beatles songs”. From the list I chose different songs and looked for the lyrics. Then I focused on lines from those lyrics that presented easy words to identify at an A1-B1 level of English. I made a note of it.

Step three. Then I went on YouTube and looked for the first song. I copied and pasted the YouTube link on Youtubetrimmer. Youtubetrimmer is a free online tool that allows you to copy and paste a YouTube video link and trim the video. I trimmed the video to choose the section I wanted with the target words. Then I copied the new link for the trimmed video, which was eight seconds long now.

Step four. Then I opened the Padlet again and posted the first note with the link for the trimmed video by pasting it. Padlet embedded that trimmed video on the note. 

I repeated steps two, three and four with the remaining songs and created a listening exercise/game with ten Beatles songs. Most videos range from 8 to 10 seconds of length. 

In class I set up groups of students (3-4 students per group). I opened the Padlet and asked group A  to choose a videoclip. Then I played it three times for them to answer the question that is associated with it (an hour, something you eat, something you drink, 2 jobs, 2 items of clothing, 2 rooms in the house, etc.). I also asked all groups to listen (and write the answer). 

If group A comes up with the right answer, give them one point for that. Otherwise, another group has a chance to get the point with the rebound question. In my case, for rebound questions, I chose an online random number generator on my phone from the Internet (there are quite a few, I just went with There were 5 groups, so I set the random number generator to pick from numbers one to five and assign a number one to five to each group. This adds an extra element of fun and uncertainty to the activity and keeps all groups and students on task. 

And that’s basically it. If you want to make it more challenging (for higher levels), you can ask the groups to identify more words from the snippets. Let’s say, instead of identifying something you eat, can they also write as many words that come right before and right after? Give them extra points for those extra words.

And that’s it. I don’t want to blow my own trumpet but it’s a bloody good game that worked wonders.

Click here to go to The Beatles Treasure Hunt. Click on any image and then click on the play button. If you want to play it again, click away and then click on the image again.

And these are the answers in bold. Immediate words before and after are also provided for the extra challenge for higher levels


  • an hour: if I’d been out till quarter to three
  • something you drink: and sip their lemonade
  • something you eat: “Eleanor Rigby picks up the rice where a wedding has been
  • a type of cake: eating chocolate cake in a bag
  • something a bird has: take these broken wings and learn to fly
  • two jobs: a pretty nurse is selling poppies from a tray / Penny Lane the barber shaves another customer
  • two items of clothing: found my coat and grabbed my hat
  • two adjectives: you say high, I say low
  • two rooms in the house: silently closing her bedroom door / she goes downstairs to the kitchen
  • three days of the week: Sunday‘s on the phone to Monday. Tuesday‘s on the phone to me




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