Monday, February 9, 2015

Learn to Spell with Music!

        How many of you can remember the lyrics to an old camp song or your high school alma mater but can’t remember where you last put your keys?  Brain research supports the connection between music and memory. Students will retain information and/or facts by being engaged in musical activities! 
      We use several different songs to teach the spelling of 2-7 letter words in our classrooms. Children easily transfer the correct spellings to their writing and recognize the words when reading. 

2-Letter Word Song
For 2-letter words, we use the song "Row, Row, Row Your Boat".  
Here is a pocket chart showing the lyrics using the word "at".  
 This can easily be turned into a Center Activity.  Other 2-letter words you can use are: 
 be my in go me is it to on   
Prepare letter and words cards as follows:  NOTE: Use a different color ink for each word!   
1) Make 4 sets of letters of word    
Ex. m   y  m   y   m   y   m   y
2) Make 2 sets of each complete word   Ex. my      my  
3) Put these in a baggie and label it with the word

Click {HERE} to link to this FREE file
A student selects a baggie with a focus word.  They put the pieces in the pocket chart before singing. Then they record the focus word on their paper. 

 3-Letter Words
The song "London Bridges" works well with 3-letter words. We first use it when introducing the sight word "the".  Another memory-making activity is to celebrate with "THE" Day!  

The is a hard sight word to learn to read and spell. We have found that having a fun day introducing this word helps students learn this important sight word.
Pin a 3" by 5" card with the word the on your shirt or hang it around your neck in a plastic "pocket".  
As you walk around the room, point to your word and ask children to read it. If they know the word, give them a High 5 or a small sticker.  We do realize that they might know that word  AT THAT MOMENT but may forget it throughout the day.  Still, this creates excitement about learning a new word.  
       The best poem to use to practice the word “the” is The Itsy, Bitsy Spider.  This poem has 8 stanzas and EVERY stanza has the word "the" in it. (You know you want to check it out!) 
Write the poem on sentence strips and place them in a pocket chart. Have students search for the word "the" in the poem.  As you sing the poem, clap every time you come to the word "the"!  Later, make a Class book entitled......wait for it.....The Book.  Students draw something and then label it.
Draw a cat.  Write the cat.  
   Here is a picture of The Book.
Other Sight Word “books”  might be a  "My Book" or a "His and Her Book".  
Student pictures & writing examples might be:   My Mom   My  bike   OR  His dog    Her cat   His bike   Her coat 

4-Letter Words
They is a difficult word to spell so this song helps them remember to put an e and not the a as it sounds. Use these spelling songs to practice ALL the words on your Word Wall.  One day, sing some of the 4-letter words.  On another day, sing some 3-letter words or Word Family Words or Weekly Spelling Words.  Mix it up and have fun! Music is a great memory device!

5-Letter Words
We found the tune "Bingo" is very successful in teaching 5-letter words.  We have even taught nieces and nephews to spell their own names using this simple song.  We created a spelling song Shared Reading packet called "Sammy the Moose Loves to Spell".  Check it out by clicking this link

6-Letter Words  and 7-Letter Words
Two of the most frequently used but also misspelled words are friend and because
Students as young as Kindergarten can learn to spell these two words correctly the first time so they don't have to unlearn the wrong ways as they progress up through the grades! 

We prepared a set of cards with ALL the songs on them showing the tunes and lyrics.  Click Spelling Songs to link to the file at our website. 
Print and cut the cards and punch a hole in upper left hand corners. Connect them with a metal ring for easy access. 
Flip to each song as  you practice the words.

We hope you give these spelling songs a try!  They really work!  
Click here to visit our TPT "store" for LOTS of learning songs and FREEBIES!


  1. This is really neat! I need to sing more with my kids. I know there are other ways to use singing even with bigger kids. Thank you for sharing!

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