Using Phonics Songs in English Language lessons are a superb resource, especially for younger learners. The rhythm and timing helps students practice pronunciation and develop fluency. If you add to that phonics skills and you have a ready made lesson, and an activity that your class will love to do.
The best phonics songs for children will include these key elements: Simple language, repetitiveness, phonics target language and fun! Songs like the phonics song, the Magic E, phonics and vowels songs all include these and increase students skills, motivation and abilities in phonics and English.
We have split these songs into Phonics skills sections to make it easier for parents and teachers. We have included more than 15 songs here and all of them have been used extensively with our own students and in our classrooms. It is both important to mention, and a relief to you all, that none of these songs feature me singing. I love to sing, however the only person who loves my singing is me. I have a few skills I have talent in and singing, even children’s phonics songs, is certainly not one of them. I leave that to these much more talented people that me!
Lets take a look at these Phonics songs.
So good they did it twice. There are two versions of this Phonic Sounds song We will link to the newest as we use that in our classroom. They are insanely popular so you don’t have to take our word for it. One has 600 Million Views the other has 113 million. Although a lot of these views could be my students and me! Both songs cover the 26 sounds of the English Alphabet, which is great for Young learners, they do not cover all 44(46) sounds and i cant find a song that does. SO maybe we can try to make on here! ( don’t worry i will hire a singer.)
However in the meantime to introduce the fact that the ABC song is not in fact the sounds of the letters in English this Phonics song is probably the best way.
Moving on from single sounds, or at least those of the alphabet we can start to put those sounds together to allow students gain their first wins in word construction – The CVC word. The CVC word is one of the simplest words to make for young learners and is simply a consonant – Vowel – Consonant word. The Vowel is always a short vowel, so there is no confusion with long vowel spellings or pronunciation. (that comes later!)
The first song below is a slow and repetitive song that allows students to sound out the letters and then put them together to make the word. It is a good introduction before using the Phonics Rap some we have also included. Even kindergarten need some edge to their music! 😉
We have plenty of Phonics and CVC resources here as well if you want to add to your lessons.
This song is a personal favorite. It introduces Rhyming and CVC words. It does presume a little background knowledge from the students but as a follow up to CVC or Rhyming lessons it is great. I often mute the song after the first word of each rhyme so the students can sing along. They get the hang of it pretty quick. It is certainly nice to not have a strummy guitar music childrens song for a change!
I really like this song for two main reasons. One it has had a lot of effort put into it and is not just a song where they repeat the target words with music. It is actually a song, and a pretty good one as well. Two it covers the sounds in sentences and with images. It is not easy to follow as it is quite fast, but as either an introduction before breaking the sounds down into easier chunks or as consolidation it is light, happy and importantly a quality song to teach Consonant digraphs.
A simpler song to the one above, and not really a rap, more of one of those shouty word songs with a beat behind it. however it is probably better for beginners that the song above. ( not as much fun) . It covers some more blends and digraphs than the song above so that gets it on this list.
I put this here as it follows the melody of London Bridge is Falling Down, so younger learners are be able to follow it easier than the rap option above. It covers the main consonant digraphs and uses images to help those young learners again. Good for a whole class Phonics singalong.
I like this one, it has an explanation on these phonics sounds for teachers to use at the beginning of the song. ( always a good idea I think) It also has plenty of phonics repetition in the song which works to help students consolidate these sounds. It is also simple enough to be followed by lower level learners. It is also the only song i have ever found that covers the consonant digraphs /ng/ and /gh/
Rhyming skills are a great way for students to start to see and practice the relationships between letters and sounds. The songs are certainly one way to help with this. We also have Rhyming games activities and resources on the site for you to try.
I was not what position to put rhyming songs in this list as sometimes the some go off into big long words using diphthongs and all sorts of advanced phonics skills. ( like this one below) however it is an important tip and reading strategy for students as well. So we had the Phonics Rap above already and I will include these two. The Rhyming is so Easy is the better/funnier of the two but is a little difficult. It also speeds up. There is a slower version on YouTube as well to make it a little easier.
It would be a travesty if I compile this list of Phonics songs and didn’t include Jack Hartman’s videos in them. It annoys me as he is really good, and I could never do what he does (remember the singing ability comment at the top of the page!) however his videos are hugely Child friendly, huge in numbers and hugely fun. So here is his Rhyming Song activity song.
I have put these together with these songs as there are so many long vowel rules that i wanted to split them up further. SO these songs cover A E I O U sounds in their long and short forms. The other videos below cover the the other Phonetic rules liek R controlled, Silent E and Vowel Digraphs.
If you are starting with Vowel sounds and the differences between them then I recommend that you use the two below or something similar before moving on to the more difficult rules. We have hundreds of free and premium workbooks on vowels, and all the phonics rules that surround them. Feel free to look in the free resources section and the shop.
This song is great. It teaches the short vowel sounds with examples, is insanely catchy. ( i mean insanely catchy) I showed this to a class of 35 6 year old second language learners whose English is quite low. One time round and they were singing it on their own. Nice easy music and tune. Try it in your class, it is very effective.
This is a good song, although not as easy as the one above. It aims to show the difference between the long and short sounds of English Vowels and does that well. They include examples of words to help students but you will need to do one more work to make sure students have fully grasped this. It is useful for teachers and students before moving on to teach the reasons why these vowels can say different sounds.
A nice easy to follow short vowel song that introduce each of the five sounds, a e i o u , to make it perfectly clear for young learners which letters are vowels!
These are together with just the best we have found over our many years. We use these to introduce the idea of digraphs and diphthongs as they are a little fast. However pausing and using them as a teaching aid works well for us to reinforce the actual rules around these sounds.
This is great and for native speakers and needs a little adjustment for second language speakers. (try slowing it down a little!) It shows the rules around vowel digraphs, that the first vowel will be the long sound and the second will be silent). It is from between the lions, and they have a lot of good English videos that are suitable for classrooms on YouTube.
A slower version if the above Digraph song is too fast. This explains the rules for two vowels together before each mini song. This makes it more suitable for younger learners. We often start with this one before moving onto the faster ( and more fun) one above.
The Diphthong Song
There are many diphthongs in English, 8 in fact. We don’t want to overload this page any more than we have already done! So I have linked to a collection that has most of them in their songs. The songs are nice and user friendly and are at a reasonable pace rather than too fast. They work really well as an introduction to what can be difficult sounds to master. This seems to a new channel and that is to be welcomed as there is a lot of older videos on YouTube that could do with an update.
This song gives an explanation first then launches into a version of Old Macdonald had a farm with these vowel phonics rules. It is great! We use this all the time before the lessons on R controlled rules. Well written and performed and a must to use in your phonics lessons.
It seems wrong to not include a pirate song when talking about R controlled vowels. SO here it is. It teachers words as well as the sound and is a good excuse for all the class to practice their pirate sounds as well as their phonics !
Because there are also a lot of spellings of the R controlled vowels we have linked to another vowel song complication here. They are from the same YouTube Channel mentioned above and they seem to be doing great things.
There are a few of these. I don’t care though. I have used this song for years, love it and its going to take something very special to turn my head elsewhere. Its called the magic E song and it is perfectly suited to use in phonics lessons. There is even a word list i use as a game at the end of the song. The song is slow, catchy and explains the silent E rule perfectly. When you teach this phonic rule this is the song for you .
These guys are great, and have such a huge range of learning videos for so many different subjects. They are a paid site but they do have free content on YouTube as well like below. They did have a deal for the CoVid pandemic if you are working in a school. This is fast though, so maybe more suited for native speaking classrooms.
They always say end with a song, well we started with plenty so I am not going to end with a song. I am ending with a video. This is a mini lesson that introduces The concept of syllables in a methodical and child friendly way. We use this all the time, and then later if ready, we will jump around with the Go Noodle crew above.
So there you have it. 20 songs (more actually) and 1 lesson video to help you teach Phonics using songs. As we said they are especially good in younger classrooms, but really they work for older children as well. The aim is to present the Phonics in as many ways as possible and phonic songs are just another tool in the English teachers tool kit. These songs are our favorites and have been tried and tested in classrooms all over the world. I hope they are as useful to you as they have been to us.
Hi I’m Marc. A teacher of over 15 years, English, General Studies and Outdoor Education. Thought it was about time to sharing both what I have learnt during that time and the resources I have put together. On this site we aim to teach the theory and share our thoughts, but also go that one step further and give you access to the hard resources you need for your class or for you children