Early Literacy: Singing

Singing slows down speech, so children are able to hear the smaller sounds in words.  This ability will help children sound out words when they are learning to read.   In addition, songs often include rhymes, which help children distinguish first sounds and recurring second sounds. And, like books, songs also provide listeners with an opportunity to hear words not used in everyday conversation.  So sing away!  Here are some ideas.

  • Nursery rhymes and lullabies are great for the youngest listeners.  Since many are part of our oral cultural tradition, they can be easily called up from memory or found online.
  • Make up new words to familiar songs and melodies! For example, Old MacDonald can have all sorts of things on his farm, maybe things that begin with the first letter of your child's name.  "Where is Thumbkin..." can become "Where is Baby..." The possibilities are endless.
  • Clap or pat out syllables while singing to further accentuate the beats, or smaller sounds in words.

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