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Friday, September 24, 2021


Music is the most natural way to learn anything. Mary Ann Wolf (one of the top reading researchers in our country) recommends singing alphabet songs with young children. She explains that songs act like an umbrella and “place holder” in the brain. When the letters and sounds make sense to the children, they have a “place” to go.

Visual Connections
As you sing alphabet songs, it will be helpful to connect the visual with the auditory. You can use alphabet cards or point to the letters in your classroom.

LETTER TAILS (Tune: "Gilligan's Island" – Is Everybody Happy? CD)
This is one of my favorite alphabet books that Barb Smith created several years ago. It's good for letter recognition, phonics, and visual closure (recognizing the whole from the part).

This is a tale about the letter A.
It makes a special sound.
/a/ /a/ /a/ /a/ A!
Let’s learn another sound.

This is a tale about the letter B….

You can download the book here. If you’ll glue the cover to the front of a pocket folder and put the pages in clear sheet protectors the book will last for a long time.


Who doesn’t like birthdays? Children will love dancing and singing this song.

Yo, A,
It’s your birthday.
Let’s all read
Like your birthday.
/a/ /a/ /a/ /a/ /a/ /a/
/a/ /a/ /a/ /a/ /a/ /a/
Yo, B…etc.

*Have children stand in a circle and act like rappers. When the letter that their name begins with comes up in the song they get to jump in the middle of the circle and dance.

Letter Birthday Hats
Let the children make birthday hats from sentence strips and wear them as you sing “Happy Birthday Letters.” (Our old stick pony is modeling the birthday hat for you.)

Birthday Cake
Draw a birthday cake on a magnetic board and sing the letters as you place them on the cake:

Yo, M, it’s your birthday.
Let’s all sing like your birthday
/m/ /m/ /m/ /m/ /m/ /m/
/m/ /m/ /m/ /m/ /m/ m/

Here’s a link so you can download the birthday cake.


Rapper Necklace
Cut letters out of heavy cardboard. Let children decorate them with fake jewels, glitter, or stickers. Punch holes in the letters and tie on string. Children can wear these as you sing this song.


Here’s a simple prop to help your children focus. Loop around the end of a pipe cleaner as shown to make a “letter looker.” Children can identify letters in their letter office and around the classroom with their “lookers.”
*They can also play a game with a partner with their letter looker. Children take turns focusing on letters as their partner tries to identify it.

ABC Kick Box 

Children stand and make fists with their hands. Explain that you will punch across with your right hand and say a letter. Then punch across with their left hand and make the sound.

A – Punch with right hand
B - Punch with left hand /b/
C…through Z


Children stand and put their hands in the air as they say a letter. They put their hands on their shoulders and make the letter sound. As they touch their toes they say a word that starts with that sound.

A (Hands up in the air and say “A.”)

/a/ (Hands on shoulders and make the short /a/ sound.)

(Say a word that starts with “A” as you touch your toes.)

*Have older children say words that are nouns, verbs, or other parts of speech as you touch your toes.

Karate Writing
Explain that some letters are tall. They start at the top dotted line. Some letters start at the middle dotted line. Some letters have a tail. They go below the line. Sing the “Alphabet Song” stretching up in the air for tall letters, putting hands on waist for short letters, and touching the ground for letters with a tail. For example:

A -hands on waist
B - hands in air
G - touch ground