Emergent literacy is nourished when children see their parents reading.

When you buy a music activity or Lesson Plan from our website it comes with wall charts with the song lyrics as part of the pdf.  We have chosen a font that is clear and easy to copy.  It is the closest one we can find to the first script children learn in school and we chose it because we’re passionate about encouraging emergent literacy.

You can display it on your electronic whiteboard or scale it up to whatever size you like and have it printed on light card so you can mount the charts on your wall.  Children get used to the idea that song lyrics appear as kinds of script-patterns and older ones can pick out familiar words, especially those that repeat often. By pointing in broad sweeps as you sing, you can lead their eyes from left to right across the wall chart training them in the convention of reading in English.  You’re working to feed their growing ‘print awareness’.  Add your own images to the charts or have children illustrate them like the monks of old!  What a cool activity to aid the ‘print motivation’ aspect of their emergent literacy.

When you have parents in your classes or visiting your room, they can easily read the lyrics and know what the child is learning and hopefully they will sing along.   Then you get the flow-on effect as the child sees its parent is interested in the printed lyrics and is motivated to also take an interest.  My parents always remind me if I have forgotten to put up the lyric charts before the lesson starts so that proves they must rely on them.  As you can see in the top left of the picture, I have mine printed at A3 size thick poster-weight paper and I use magnets to mount them on a white board – this makes it quick and easy to set up and remove when I am in a location for only a morning. You might be able to leave yours up for a few weeks at a time and become a champion of ‘print awareness’.

Click here to see a sample of a song with suggestions and a lyric chart.  The lyric chart page has a black header. Here’s one for the song Hokey Pokey.  You can see how the pattern stands out in the first three lines of the verse and again in the chorus. Try showing it to a child now.