Get Fit Rap

Levels: 
A2 upwards
Teaching point: 
Minimal Pairs fit or feet
Theme: 
Keeping Fit
Activity: 
Rap / Chant
Get Fit Rap - hancockmcdonald.com/materials/get-fit-rap

This short video (see link below) is a rap. It features a high density of the vowel minimal pair in ship and sheep – namely, fit and feet, sit and seat, bit and beat and fill and feel. Note that the vowel in the first word in each pair is shorter, with the mouth muscles more relaxed. The vowel in the second word is longer, with the mouth muscles more tense. The short vowel is in the inner circle of my Hexagon Vowel Chart (see my article here) and the long vowel is in the outer circle next to it. Putting these words into a rap serves to create a mental sound track in which this vowel difference is very
noticeable.

Get up on your Feet
You won’t get fit

Just sitting on a seat

If you wanna get fit

Gotta get up on your feet

Don’t fill that seat

Gotta move a little bit

Kick your feet to the beat

Feel the heat, that’s it!

(From Mark Hancock 2017 PronPack 4: Pronunciation Poems)

Ideas for using this rap:

  1. Play the video and pause. Ask the learners if the speaker is saying a vowel or a consonant sound in the frozen image, based on the mouth position. Ask them to identify which sound it is.
  2. Play or say the rap two lines at a time and ask students to repeat. Note that most learners find the last two lines especially difficult, so these may need more work.
  3. Say small fragments of the text repeatedly and ask students to repeat – for example ‘sitting on a – sitting on a – sitting on a – sitting on a’. This technique is called ‘micro-drilling’ – see my article in English Teaching Professional (issue 115).
  4. Do some minimal pair activities. Write the words with the short vowel down the left of the board and the words with the long vowels down the right. Say one of the words and ask the class to point to the word you are saying. Then ask individual learners to say words while the rest of the class point.
  5. Get learners to learn and perform the whole rap.
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