Using Popular Songs

Part of the Magical Movement Mondays Series

Using Popular Songs

Today’s post focuses on using popular songs with fun choreographies to get kids of all ages moving while associating vocabulary to actions. Teachers can use them to introduce or close units related to the human body, action verbs, popular culture, and hobbies. They are also fun to learn and perform in summer camps. Finally kids can also learn them on their own (or with 1:1 teacher support) by watching videos and learning the steps. Then, they can even record a video of themselves doing the dance and challenge a friend to do the same!

Cha Cha Slide – Mr C The Slide Man

The Cha Cha Slide is a fun line dance with different moves associated to specific actions. It can be used to practice listening skills while following directions, rhythm, and vocabulary associated with actions and body parts.


  • Right foot stomp / Left foot stomp
  • Charlie Brown
  • Hop
  • Reverse
  • Criss Cross
  • Take it back
  • Cha Cha
  • To the left / To the right
  • Hands on knees
  • How low can you go
How to Use the Song:
  • Teach/learn each move and associated action.They are all available by clicking the actions link.
  • Practice the moves in random order.
  • Watch the video of the song.
  • Practice the song in groups.
  • Perform in small groups or record a video and challenge a friend or classmate if doing it individually.
Recommended ages: 8 and up

Happy by Pharell Williams

This song offers different opportunities based on the age and level of students you are working with.

P.E. Classes / Teaching the Dance

  • Watch the original video of the song on YouTube linked as the heading of this section.
  • Practice singing the chorus.
  • Click the link above and watch the explanatory video.
  • Look at the detailed explanation of the steps on the same page.
  • Practice it together as a class.
  • Perform it while singing at least the chorus.
Recommended ages: 8-12 years old

ESL Lesson Plan for Young Learners and Teens
This lesson plan focuses on speaking skills, deriving meaning from context, sentence stress, rhythm, phonetics awareness, and writing your own chorus.Recommended Level: A2-C1
Recommended Ages: 9 and up

I Said A Boom Chicka Boom

This song is especially fun to use by watching several different versions together to familiarize the group with the lyrics and some of the adaptations. Then, create your own version together as a class, family or as an individual.

Recommended ages: 6 and up (8 and up to create your own version)

Here are some suggested versions to watch:

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