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Language Learning Through Songs

Children learn language with songs! Even non-verbal students can benefit greatly from having simple songs for participation and enjoyment.


At a very young age my lyric-writing skills began.

I would write song after song after song on sheets of paper and then store them in my drawers. The problem? They kinda stunk. And I failed to actually write the tune that I had in my head as I was writing these songs.

In my adult years, I solved this problem by making up song lyrics to go with familiar songs. Children’s songs. I used these songs to remember concepts in grad school, sing my terms of endearment to my husband, and teach my kids how to spell their names.

And I sang them a lot with my students. Sometimes I’d make them up on the fly. Other times, I actually created visuals and used them in circle time for my life skills classes.

I use songs throughout circle time and individual therapy. It is important that these songs are error-less, since my students are non-verbal or minimally verbal and I want them to participate in choosing any verse, not just the correct one. It is also important that the songs are highly repetitive but work on a variety of vocabulary, grammar, and/or basic concept skills.

I decided to re-create some of my file folder circle time songs and share them with you!

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The Songs Include:

  • The Dinosaur Song (works on “ing” verbs)

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  • Feelings Song (works on different emotion vocabulary as well as facial expressions)

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  • If You are Happy and You Know It (works on one step commands)

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  • My Gorilla Song (works on 3rd person present tense verbs)

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  • Old MacDonald (works on animal vocabulary and noises)

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  • Senses Song (works on vocabulary and infinitive verb phrases)

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Here is what they look like when complete:

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These songs are great for preschool age or early language learners. They are fun for everyone and can be sung every day for extra repetition and practice. And if you start singing them to your spouse, in the shower, and while driving home… well that may or may not be my fault. 😉

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