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Lesson Plan

Using Songwriting to Build Awareness of Beginning Letter Sounds

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Grades K – 2
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time One 30-minute session; two 60-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Jennifer Prior, Ph.D.

Jennifer Prior, Ph.D.

Flagstaff, Arizona


International Literacy Association



From Theory to Practice



This lesson can be adapted for kindergarten, first, or second graders. Students begin by singing a song to the tune of "Mary Had a Little Lamb." Kindergartners can identify and learn letter names and beginning consonant sounds. First graders will enjoy extending the activity by creating new verses to the song as a class, thus building phonemic awareness and vocabulary. Second graders will enjoy creating their very own song verses, which integrates the activity of songwriting to support many aspects of language development. The activity culminates by illustrating the song verses.

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Smith, J.A. (2000). Singing and songwriting support early literacy instruction. The Reading Teacher, 53(8), 646649.

  • Art, music, dance, and drama activities have been found to have academic benefits for children.

  • Research demonstrates that music activities are strongly associated with academic performance, content learning, and social skills.

  • Music activities are effective for the teaching of literacy skills.

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