Collaborative idea generation for ELT

I discovered this song last week while I was looking for music related to climate change. I think it could promote a lot of discussion in class.

Here is a link with the lyrics to the song. I have also reproduced them at the bottom of the post.

What would you do with this song in your classroom? You can make any assumptions you like about the context it is used in. Post your ideas in the comments below. All ideas are welcome (there are no wrong answers!)

Click here to find out the idea behind this blog.

music and words David Todd copyright D.E.Todd 2009

They came in the night and they came in the day

They came until they took it all away

And all they left was a barren ground

Where no life can be found

They didn’t give a reason and they didn’t say why
Millions of trees had to die
In the name of progress is all they’d say

Step aside and get out of our way

What I want to know is where we gonna go

When the rain don’t make our garden grow

And the soil’s too dry for the seeds to sow

How long till we learn

You play with fire and be sure to burn

A one way ticket with no return

Cause where we gonna go

Well I don’t know

They tell us technology is a wonderful thing
Not to mention the destruction it brings
One step forward and two steps back
Go from the light and into the black
They feed us with lies and treat us like fools
But don’t stop to realise its a game we all lose
On a road to self destruction with every step we take
Like a ship sinking fast and no escape

What I want to know is where we going to go
When the suns threat to all below
And our pollution stops our rivers flow
Its time you and me take responsibility
Its a fragile world in dire need
Cause where we gonna go
Well I don’t know

Spending money to find life on Mars

It doesn’t make any sense to me

Like trying to live at the bottom of the ocean

Some things are not meant to be.

What I want to know
Is where we going to go
When the ocean rise and the strong winds blow
And the temperature melts the ice and snow
Not time to wait
It wont be long and it will be too late
In this together and we are all at stake
Cause where we gonna go
Well I don’t know

Comments on: "‘Where we going to go’ by David Todd" (1)

  1. Environmentalism doesn’t seem to grab people as it used to. Have people become resigned to the inevitability of climate change. “No problem, I sell my car and get a speedboat”. “Regular sunshine in Scotland? Bring it on.” etc.
    I’m writing a textbook for Swedish teenagers and we are planning to use Julian Lennon’s ‘Saltwater’ to raise awareness – not so much of the issues, but of the apathy towards the issues.
    Possible use in the classroom?
    1. Cut up the song into strips and the students use the rhymes to try to decide which pieces go together before listening. Then play it.
    2. Get students to write a song – or at least discuss what issues they would put in the song. Then listen – was there common ground?
    3. A quiz gapfill. Millions of 1.__________ had to die. 1. Oak, beech and palm are different kinds of ________. etc.
    4. Change the text and the students correct while listening.
    They came in the day and they went in the night
    They came until they took away all the rubbish
    And all they left was fertile ground etc.

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