I am most definitely one of the worst singers in the entire world. I have had children cover their ears when I start to sing and once, in a music lesson during teacher training, things were going so badly my mentor stopped the lesson early and gave the kids extra playtime (recess if you’re in the US). BUT this doesn’t stop me from having a good sing along in class. Songs are a great way to mix things up with younger students. They can also help students remember new language, improve their pronunciation and re-energise them if they’re starting to flag!
Here are my favourite songs to use online. Some people use Manycam or show the videos on their phone. Personally I just sing, this makes it easier to go slowly and adapt the lyrics if necessary. Apart from LinLin, who covers her ears when I start to sing, most students respond well to this!
1. Hello, how are you? – Super Simple Songs
This is my go to song in trial classes. I use emoji flashcards to practise the feelings before we sing and usually ‘fall asleep’ and start snoring during ‘sleepy’. For zero English students, I take it super slow and stick to the first three feelings – good, great, wonderful.
2. Hello, can you clap your hands?
This is my go to hello song with my younger regulars. It gets them up and moving and starts the lesson off on a great note!
3. Open shut them
This is a great song for opposites and a nice little break if the students are getting wriggly. You can do it for pretty much any opposite words – my favourites are ‘fast and slow’, ‘hot and cold’ and ‘up and down’.
4. Rain, rain go away
This one is a great song for weather units, or just if it’s a rainy day! I always change the name to my student’s name. “Rain, rain go away, Nora wants to play’.
5. Wheels on the bus
This another classic that can be easily adapted! Some of my favourite extra verses so far are:
The princess on the bus goes ‘hello everyone’
The lion on the bus goes ‘roar roar roar’
The tune for this also makes a great, simple farm animal song: The cows on the farm go moo moo moo.
6. Old McDonald had a farm
Another fun animal song!
7. If you’re happy, happy, happy
This song is a simplified version of ‘If you’re happy and you know it’. It’s a great warm up song, or fun to use during lessons on feelings. This is another one that lends itself to being adapted: ‘If you’re hungry, hungry, hungry eat a burger’.
8. Do you like broccoli ice-cream?
This is the perfect song for any food lesson. You can use whatever food vocabulary you are learning to create some yucky combinations. After singing we always draw the yuckiest combo we can think of! Fish cookies anyone?
9. Baby Shark
This song has become so popular it makes my ears bleed, but there’s no denying it’s a great song to practise family members!
10. See you later, alligator
This is my favourite goodbye song! I sing a shortened version of this and we end with ‘see you later, alligator’. My alligator puppet then eats me, or the student as we leave the classroom.
I hope you enjoy using some of these in your classroom! Let me know your favourite songs in the comments below.