Blogger Emily Mroczek-Bayci

Ready Ideas for Ready to Read: SING

As children’s professionals, we know the Every Child Ready to Read concepts. Maybe you address a certain one in every program. Maybe parents ask more about them. Maybe you can say them in your sleep. Maybe you didn’t realize they had a name, but are still using them all in your daily work.

Whatever your story is, the five key practices (talk, read, sing, write and play) aren’t going anywhere. This is the final post of a five-part series on concrete ideas to use ECRR in programming.

Take a look at past posts here:

Today’s post is about SING. Music helps children learn about rhythm and develop listening skills. Children can hear different sounds that make up words.

Songs help children develop listening skills and pay attention to rhymes and rhythms. Singing also slows down language so children can hear the different sounds that make up words. This helps children when they begin to read.

It is important to be aware that some popular folk songs have a racist past. Even when we change the lyrics, the tune is recognizable and cannot be “unheard” by those who know the original, problematic lyrics. Much has been written on the topic lately, and The American Kodaly Institute keeps an updated list of questionable songs here.

Singing with children helps with:

Activity Ideas

  • Create and use a song cube, or let families create their own song cubes to take home.
  • Try reading books that can be sung- nursery rhyme books or books set to music or based off songs.
  • Try repeating the same songs every week and sing songs that teach specific skills like the ABC song, or a phonics song that sounds out words.
  • Set up a music station with different instruments. Include a microphone that kids can sing into.
  • Encourage caregivers that it’s OK to sing no matter their ability, that children want to hear their caregivers voices.
  • Use hand and body movements to indicate numbers, directions (over, under, up, down, etc.), or to act out the lyrics.

The CLEL Bell Awards are announced annually and have one winner in each practice. Here’s the past few years of READ winners with links to the CLEL created activity sheets:

Additional Resources

This post addresses ALSC competency group I: Commitment to Client Group point 5: Understands current educational practices, especially those related to literacy and inquiry.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *