I see this movie as a prototype for a bigger idea. I want something catchy for children to remember not only letter names but also sounds. The final would have some much better singers and possibly some animation. Enjoy.

Chris Cushman
AR Project

Project Title: Sounds song

Description of Project: The alphabet song is nice to teach kids what the letters are in order, but doesn’t do a whole lot in initial reading instruction. I wanted to create something that is catchy and memorisable, like the alphabet song, but incorporates what letters look like as well as what sound they make when sounding out words. My project was to write a song and create a movie to play along with it. Hopefully, the final product would be something kids liked to look at and sing along with while at the same time they are learning their letters and letter sounds.

Theoretical Context: Having worked with beginning readers for two years and having assessed them before they years beginning I have noticed two things. First, the alphabet is not sufficient for a child entering first grade. Second, children who know their letter sounds upon entering elementary school have a significant advantage. I think if kindergarten or younger children were exposed to something that was both aesthetic and mellifluous they may catch on easier than they would by normal instruction methods.

Process: I want to include a process portion because in doing the project I felt like I learned some useful things that will help me in my classroom in the future. My method for writing the song was first to find the real song lyrics online. I broke those songs down into rhyme scheme and syllables. Then I wrote in my own lyrics matching those criteria. The next step was rather difficult. Extracting vocals from a musical track is actually a pretty complicated process. It involves a free downloadable program named Audacity. There is a very helpful video tutorial available on Youtube with the rest of the steps. Finally, I used the program Garageband to combine music and vocals that I recorded onto the computer with help from my roommates. The movie portion is just a simple recorded slideshow.

Data Collection/Analysis: I haven’t received a lot of feedback from people yet. Those who have watched it ( a total of 5 people) really liked it and found it catchy. They also agreed with me that it could definitely be better. The visual portion really needs to be spiced up and I think I could even make the song better. Somebody with a musical voice would also be helpful at the next recording.

Findings: I know I could not only do this project better with the knowledge I have now, but faster. I could even see this as a lesson plan for a high school poetry class or music class. I think I will make my own movies and songs when I am in a classroom with young children. They really cling to all things multimedia and it might be a way to spice up a normally boring lecture.

I am adding a link to some more of my amazing work in the field of childhood literacy.

Sushi I made
Pablo is an example of my teaching skill

For some great sites for beginning readers and educators go to this link
Reading - PreK to 2nd Grade