Discover the Power of Signing Songs for Joyful, Accelerated Teaching and Learning (PreK-2)
Updated February 13, 2024
10 Reasons to Sign Songs: Enhance All Children’s Language and Literacy!
1. Signing songs helps build an active,
joyful community of learners.
The children on the left are performing signed songs at a multicultural school assembly. The second photo shows kindergartners celebrating their beautiful songs in sign for families at an end-of-year celebration.
2. Children’s memory for the spelling sequence of words is dramatically improved through singing, signing, and fingerspelling.
Kinesthetically forming letters using fingerspelling improves recall, especially for English language learners and developmentally younger students. They become “experts” at fingerspelling their names and high-frequency “heart words.”
3. Sign Language provides a powerful bridge to comprehension between English and Spanish language learning.
After children have learned to sing and sign the language in their song, picture books, they can more easily read the words with comprehension. This boy is reading the Nellie Edge Read and Sing Book Yo Tengo Un Gato/ I Have a Cat Little Book.
4. Using sign language keeps children engaged and focused—taking advantage of how the brain learns best!
Discover the free ASL Instructional Videos on our Website:
L-O-V-E spells Love! • The Pledge of Allegiance • Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star •
I Love the Mountains • The More We Get Together • Hola Mis Amigos/Hello My Friend
5. Fingerspelling builds kinesthetic memory connections for letters and sounds and develops the small muscles necessary for writing. best!
Here children are signing the word “l-o-v-e.” Singing and fingerspelling the L-O-V-E Spells Love song supports learning to write “love” and the powerful message: I love you.
6. Using American Sign Language (ASL) makes class management easier.
Singing and fingerspelling help children instantly pay attention. They also learn to use and respond to nonverbal signs for common procedures: May I use the bathroom? I need some water. Kindergartners silently fingerspell as they walk down the hall. Image from ABC Phonics: Sing, Sign, and Read! © 2010 by Nellie Edge, Sign2Me Early Learning.
7. Sign language builds meaning by creating internal images of language.
These children are signing “cat” by tracing the cat’s whiskers.
The image is from ABC Phonics: Sing, Sign, and Read! by Nellie Edge.
8. Fingerspelling helps children feel and sound through CVC words.
Children can feel rhyming in their hand even if they aren’t able to hear it. (c-a-t, r-a-t, h-a-t). This accelerates children’s mastery of the decoding and encoding process with CVC (Consonant Vowel Consonant) words.
9. Songs in sign create memorable parent performances.
Parents delight in seeing the confidence and enthusiasm for learning that children bring home. They love watching their children perform beautiful and meaningful language: The Pledge of Allegiance in American Sign Language (ASL). (See American Patriot CD.) For video clips of American Sign Language, see Video tab at NellieEdge.com.
10. Young children who learn sign language have a life-long advantage for expressive speech communication skills.
Research from Marilyn Daniels in Dancing with Words documents the power of teaching sign language to non-hearing impaired kindergarten children.