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10 Ways to Use Taylor Swift Lyrics in Teaching

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Leverage the popularity of Taylor Swift and engage your students with these ten ways to use Taylor Swift lyrics in teaching.

10 Ways to Use Taylor Swift Lyrics in Teaching

Why Use Taylor Swift Lyrics

Teachers love quality quotations. They can inspire students and make them feel connected to history.

Too often, the quotations we cite are from people the students know nothing about.

While there is a place for teaching students about history, using quotations from popular artists, celebrities, and politicians has advantages.

Students are already interested in the quoted person, so they will likely pay more attention to what is said.

Taylor Swift is one of the most recognizable celebrities on the planet and arguably one of the best living songwriters.

Why not quote her in your lessons? We’ll show you how to do it!

10 Ways to Use Taylor Swift Lyrics in Teaching

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10 Ways to Use Taylor Swift Lyrics in the Classroom

Check out these creative ways to use Taylor Swift lyrics in the classroom.

Growth Mindset Quotations

Teachers need to emphasize a growth mindset in the classroom.

When your students have a growth mindset, they are more diligent, resourceful, and resilient.

You can start the day with a growth mindset quotation during your morning routine, and we have many quotations to choose from.

Taylor Swift’s lyrics also cover a growth mindset.

Consider excerpts from Taylor Swift’s songs like “Shake It Off” and “Change.”

Poetry Analysis

Songwriters are poets who pair their poems with melodies.

In addition to studying famous poets, analyze a Taylor Swift song or two.

In general, the songs “All Too Well,” “Blank Space, “Clean,” and “Dear John” use vivid imagery and showcase emotional depth.

Before you bring the song to class, ensure the lyrics and theme are age-appropriate for your classroom.

10 Ways to Use Taylor Swift Lyrics in Teaching

Bulletin Board

The best classroom bulletin boards have catchy titles. 

You can use Taylor Swift song titles to make your bulletin board pop. 

Here are some ideas:

  • “Shake It Off” – a growth mindset theme
  • “You Need to Calm Down” – social-emotional regulation
  • “Welcome to New York” – beginning of the school year
  • “The Best Day” – celebrating classroom achievements
  • “Today Was a Fairytale” – covering a fun class event

Brain Break

All students enjoy a brain break, and what better way than a three-minute dance party or karaoke session?

Put on one of these popular, upbeat Taylor Swift songs for a brain break:

  • “Shake It Off”
  • “ME!”
  • “You Belong with Me”
  • “The Best Day”
  • “Never Grow Up”
  • “22”
  • “Today Was a Fairy Tale”
10 Ways to Use Taylor Swift Lyrics in Teaching

Literary Themes of Love and Sacrifice 

If you are a high school teacher, you can use Taylor Swift’s lyrics to relate to the themes in literature.

“Love Story” draws from the themes in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.

“Wildest Dreams” echoes with nostalgia, not unlike many classic romance novels such as Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights.

“The Best Day” covers memories of childhood experiences. 

It’s an interesting comparison to Little Women by Louisa May Alcott or To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

ESL Listening Comprehension

If you teach ESL students, you can use Taylor Swift songs as a listening comprehension activity.

Print the song lyrics, but leave blanks for certain words.

Students can listen to the song and write in the missing words.

10 Ways to Use Taylor Swift Lyrics in Teaching

Music Education

Use Taylor Swift songs to teach your music class about melody, rhythm, and harmony.

If you teach beginner guitar or piano, you can use a simple Taylor Swift song to teach chords and melody.

Consider these songs with basic chord structures and lots of repetition:

  • “Teardrops on My Guitar”
  • “Our Song”
  • “You Belong with Me”
  • “Mean”
  • “Shake It Off”

End-of-Year Gifts

Some of the best gifts for students have memorable quotations on them.

You can personalize bookmarks, mugs, keychains, tote bags, water bottles, or picture frames with Taylor Swift lyrics.

Here are some examples:

“Fearless is having fears but jumping anyway.” – Taylor Swift (from her song “Fearless”)

“The rest of the world was black and white, but we were in screaming color.” – Taylor Swift (from her song “Out of the Woods”)

“You are not the opinion of someone who doesn’t know you.” – Taylor Swift (from her song “Clean”)

“Words can break someone into a million pieces, but they can also put them back together.” – Taylor Swift (from her song “State of Grace”)

10 Ways to Use Taylor Swift Lyrics in Teaching

Creative Writing Prompt

Use the lyrics to a song by Taylor Swift as a writing prompt.

Take a moment to analyze what she is doing in the song. 

Is she telling a story? 

Is she describing a feeling or circumstance?

What themes are present in the song?

Then, ask the students to write their poems, drawing inspiration from Taylor Swift’s lyrics.

Public Speaking Prompt

As a public speaking prompt, ask students to give a speech highlighting how Taylor Swift’s lyrics resonate with them.

You may also want to offer a few other prompts since not everyone knows Taylor Swift’s lyrics (even though that’s hard to imagine!).

10 Ways to Use Taylor Swift Lyrics in Teaching

Classroom Application for Taylor Swift Lyrics

Taylor Swift is an American icon who can help you reach your students through her lyrics.

Whether you use Taylor Swift lyrics in a writing prompt, a bulletin board, or a brain break, you will grab your students’ attention.

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