This was an interesting resource to research and develop. It presents two different versions of the same core song - Beds are Burning; the recent version produced as part of the Tck Tck Tck Campaign to promote awareness of climate change in the lead up to the Copenhagen Summit, and the original version from the band Midnight Oil, which was inspired by the Pintupi tribe and their move in from and then back out to the isolation of Australia's Western Desert.
Two very different 'causes', and it is interesting to look at how the lyrics are different for each version according to their purpose.
To best showcase this, I've built a webpage featuring both music videos and the lyrics for each in a scroll box beneath, side by side for easy comparison. In addition, for each version I've added a series of key words and links to graded (or gradable) texts on Google Search that explore a variety of issues or topics relevant to each rendition of the Beds are Burning song.
You can access the page here: http://www.englishraven.com/bedsareburning. html
For ESL application, just listening to and comparing the lyrics can be a really interesting exercise. The main ideas and 'roots' in each set of lyrics make for clear comparisons, but at phrase level there are also some great opportunities to explore language (for example to take a stand versus to say fair's fair, or turning back versus give it back).
These texts are also well set up for Certificate III in ESL (Access) and the following element/performance criteria:
Unit C24 (VPAU505): Read and write a range of straightforward informational, instructional and other texts.
Element 1: Analyse a range of informational texts
Performance Criteria 1.1: Scan informational text and identify the context and topic
Performance Criteria 1.2: Identify the main ideas or issues
Performance Criteria 1.3: Locate supporting information or examples
Performance Criteria 1.4: Identify conventions of informational texts
Performance Criteria 1.5: Analyse the structure and discourse features of the texts
Performance Criteria 1.6: Respond to the text, outlining any opinions expressed, and state own opinion about the topic
Learners could be encouraged to tackle both texts as part of this outcome, or the one that interests them most. Alternatively, they could follow the links featured alongside each set of lyrics and source their own reading text on a more specific topic (anything from climate change to The Pintupi Nine). This is a great way to marry extensive reading with some basic tech skills oriented around particular themes.
Besides reading, there are plenty of opportunities to have classroom discussions or negotiate writing topics feeding out of the content available on the web page.
One or more of the texts available through this resource could also build towards any of a number of ESL Framework Elective Units (for example, Current Issues, Indigenous Australia, Environment of Australia, Australian History, etc.)
See more of this these sorts of resources over at the English Oz section of this blog.