Tuesday 4 December 2012

Playing with Words Using Songs

I was at a plant nursery the other day, and spotted these "ants" going up a doorway.

It just reminded me of the song "The Ants go Marching one by one, Hurrah, Hurrah" sung to the tune of "When Johnny came Marching Home again".

That is a great song to start teaching rhyming words and playing with words.  It is also a counting song, up to the number ten.  So it covers literacy and numeracy skills!  Two birds with one stone, as they say.

Learn the song by singing the whole song together and then taking turns to do a verse each.  After that you "speak" the words of each verse to your child.  This shows your child the difference between singing and talking.

If you need the lyrics Google them.  There are YouTube versions online as well.  Once you and your child have learnt your favourite version, then start playing with the words.  Make up silly versions.
Here's mine:
The ants go marching one by one, hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching one by one, hurrah,hurrah
The ants go marching one by one,
The last one stopped to twiddle his thumbs
And they all went marching home for pizza and cake!

As I have said, it is very important for young children to know what a word is and how we use words.
Rhythm and songs seem to come naturally to children so using songs to move your child from spoken words to singing words, to knowing what a word is because you have changed it in the song, seems like a natural and good thing to do.

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