Ironic Musical ESL Lesson

Activities Discussion Music
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Today I am going to change it up a bit and introduce music. My students loved music. I didn’t like to just have them listen to a song and fill in the blanks, though. I wanted to make a little discussion out of it. I always loved to get some good conversation out of the class and if we could listen to a song and enjoy that as well then it was just icing on the ESL activity cake.

I’ve Put My Whole Musical ESL Lesson Down Below

The song is first but I suggest you do the questions first on the back side of eh page and then see if students can find the answers as they listen to the song afterward. I put a break in between the first and second page. Feel free to copy and use in your class. Check out the video  for the song.

IRONIC by Alanis Morissette

Housefly for ESl musical class An old man turned ninety-eight

He won the lottery and _______________

It’s a black fly in your Chardonnay

It’s a death row pardon ________________

And isn’t it ironic… don’t you think


It’s like _________ on your wedding day

It’s a free ride when you’ve already paid

It’s the good advice that you _______________________

And who would’ve thought… it figures

Mr. Play-It-Safe was afraid to fly

He packed his suitcase and kissed ______________

He waited his whole damn life to take that flight

And as the plane ______________ he thought

“Well isn’t this nice…”

And isn’t it ironic… don’t you think


Well life has a funny way of ________________ on you

When you think everything’s okay and everything’s going right

And life has a funny way of helping you out when


You think everything’s gone wrong and everything ________________

In your face

A ________________ when you’re already late

A ______________________ on your cigarette break

It’s like _____________________ when all you need is a knife

It’s meeting the man of my dreams

And then meeting ________________________________

And isn’t it ironic…don’t you think

A little too ironic…and, yeah, I really do think…


Life has a funny way of _____________ on you

Life has a funny, funny way of helping you out

Helping you out


Definition of Irony








IRONY: when you wake up in the morning and everything looks cloudy and dark, and you say “Oh, What a beautiful day!”

1. What might be the most terrible thing that can happen to you:

a. When you are already late

b. On your wedding day

c. When you meet the person of your dreams

d. On your first day at work

e. Someone gives you really good advice but…

f. You have a fear of flying

g. You really need a knife but all you have is_____________

h. You meet your in-laws for the first time

I. You’ve just won the lottery

j. You get a free coupon for something

k. It’s your cigarette break

There are 4 phrasal verbs used in the song. See if you can figure out the meaning.

  • crashed down
  • sneaking up
  • helping out
  • blows up in your face

Look back at the lyrics and see if you understand what they mean?

Now, try to match the following explanations with the phrasal verbs.

  1. to aid someone, especially in a difficult situation
  2. if a plan, a deal or a situation goes very wrong and causes you harm or embarrassment
  3. to move towards someone or something very quietly so that they do not see or hear you until you reach them
  4. to fall with a very loud noise

Ironic Freedom!




And that is pretty much the whole ESL exercise (Click on the Picture for the Video)

Ironic Link to Song
Watch the Video!

This will last for pretty much an hour long class. I found some interesting pictures to go along with the lesson. I really like the William Wallace and Definition of Irony pictures. The nice thing with doing songs that are a little older is that they are many times new to the students so they don’t know the lyrics by heart. I will be posting more songs and conversation questions to go along with them later. I have a very special one that I am saving for October that I’ll probably post towards the end of September.

Have fun and enjoy the song and your class because Teaching English is Fun!


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