It’s as Easy as A,B,C

By: Amelia Leigner

The ABC song is an old staple amongst English teachers. Reviewing the letters from time to time is a must, especially with younger students. These songs could fit into your lessons in a variety of ways, as a weekly warm-up song, segue into games focused on pronunciation, to introduce new vocabulary words or to conclude your class.

When searching for a good version of the song to use in my class, I was taken aback by the wide variety of different versions, and how down right awful some of them are! To save you the trouble of listening to ten different versions before finding even one suitable for classroom use (not exactly the most enjoyable way to spend an afternoon), I have compiled a list of my top five favorites and included links to the YouTube videos. Downloadable versions of the videos are also available on the Baidu cloud.

1. ABC Alphabet Song in HD with Lyrics
This is the “nursery rhyme” version that you likely learned as a child in your preschool or kindergarten class. While it is definitely the most popular worldwide, I have found that it is too quickly paced for very young learners who are new to English. You could use this video with grades three to five, as a warm-up song or to introduce a lesson focused on phonics.

2. ABC Song for Kids: Easy and Fun Version
I deem this version the “simple and classic version” because it is exactly that. There is nothing flashy about this version, or even any pictures and vocabulary words included in the video. The tune is very similar to the “nursery rhyme” version, but slowed down so it is more suitable for beginners. After playing the song for young students a few times, you can test them on the sounds, asking them, “what sound does A make?” etc.

3. Phonics Song 2
This version includes both phonics and vocabulary examples. While it may be a bit overwhelming for very young learners, older students will benefit from hearing the sounds along with the letters. Students who already know the different sounds of the letters can use this song for review at the beginning of class or before a game focused on pronunciation, since it’s slow enough for listeners to sing along. Pictures of the vocabulary words make this video a bit more visually pleasing than that of the previous version.

4. The ABC Song (Rock Version) Alphabet ABC’s
This cool “rock n’ roll” version is fast paced, but a lot of fun. It would definitely work best with older, advanced students, who may be bored of the “kiddie” versions. While it follows the same tune as the “nursery rhyme” version, the electric guitar adds a cool twist. This song would fit nicely at the beginning or end of a lesson for a bit of review. Either create your own or have the students add actions to correlate with each letter in the song for an additional laugh.

5. The Alphabet (Sing-along)
This version is by far the most visually appealing of those included in this post. The song was created by Oxford University Press, one of the foremost companies in producing English teaching materials. It does go a bit fast, but still should be suitable for learners over the ages of seven or eight. Try using the video to elicit vocabulary words that start with the letter “A, B, C,” etc. This could be turned into a quick warm-up game to see how many words the students can think of starting with one letter per lesson. Change the letter each class and watch the students’ vocabulary grow!

BONUS TRACK – Food Alphabet Song
While this version didn’t make my top five, it would work well when teaching a food unit. Each letter is matched with a food vocabulary word, ranging from jello to up-side down cake. I would play this song for students two or three times so they have multiple opportunities to pick up new vocabulary words. This could lead nicely into prompting students to talk about their favorite foods with each other or in front of the class.

Pick your favorite version and give it a try in your next class!