I want Kindergarten teachers or anyone teaching the ABC song to make sure their students hear the different letters and not jam them altogether into one word. I have two stories about that. The first story is about my experience just this past week. The second story is about my niece, Mimi’s graduation twenty-one years ago. Like to hear ’em, here they go!
“Mrs. B,” my Kindergarten student, Will, asked, as I told him to write out the alphabets, “What is ellumenopea? How do you spell it?”
You can see the questioning look on his face. Is it a type of soup? Is it an animal? Is it something forbidden like the lambada?
Ok, I’m kidding. I knew exactly what he was asking me because many Kindergarten students have asked the same question. When teachers (or whoever teaches the child) teach the ABC song and don’t distinguish between the letters, confusion results. The students end up hearing ellumenopea (as one word) instead of l, m, n, o, p!
Which brings me to second story: my 26 year old’s niece Kindergarten graduation which I clearly remember even though it was twenty-one years ago. I remember it so clearly because of the ABC song she and her classmates sang for the opening of the ceremony. Before they sang it, the teacher told the audience to listen very carefully to the song. Ok, our interests are piqued. Bring it on, let’s hear the song! As we listened carefully to the ABC song, I remember questioning, “What’s so special about this ABC song?
They’re up to the letter “k” and I don’t hear anything different. Oh, wait, now i hear it! The students have slowed down to a crawl to sing l,m,n,o,p (with the “p” stretched out). At the end of the song, they also slowed down when they got to the letter “w” which some children also mix up.
I loved it. This illustrates my point perfectly. My niece’s teacher took a little extra time to make sure the children could hear the distinct letters and they got it. They never had to ask what ellumenopea was because they knew that it was not a word, but five separate letters.
You know what, I cannot remember her name for anything. But my niece remembers that song. Well done unknown teacher, well done!
Now back to my lesson for the day which got derailed because I had to stop and try to explain that ellumenopea was not a word but five separate letters. Needless to say we didn’t finish what we started. Since I only see them twice a week, I’m still working on clearing up the confusion for my students, Will & Sam.
When I see them again on Wednesday, I will ask them to sing the song again. I will then slow them down and make sure they understand that the song says l, m , n , o, p, and not ellumenopea!
I’m finished. That’s my rant for the day. It’s not a big rant. It’s just something that bugs me because of the confusion it causes. If you are teaching your child(ren) or student(s)the ABC song, make sure they can hear the difference as my niece’s teacher did twenty-one long years ago. If you don’t the child will be confused and unable to connect the sounds. Just a thought.
Look at the following videos. The first one says ellumenopea, while the second one, which is much slower, let’s you hear all the letters.