Every word has a beginning and an end: reading phonetically

If your child has mastered the alphabet letters and their corresponding sounds, this could be a helpful song for you! We have just gotten to that step with one of my clients. In addition to reading basic sight words, she is practicing identifying beginning and ending sounds of presented words.  This is a huge step toward sounding out words phonetically.

Here is how the goal I am addressing reads:

The student will identify beginning and ending sounds of words given visual and verbal cues as needed by the next annual ARD in 4 out of 5 trials.

Tips & Tricks

Start Small. Choose a small selection of words you will target. Use Bitsboard, letter tiles/magnets, note cards or your preferred method. “Small” here is relative. For your child one word may be enough or perhaps 10-20 words is a good place to start. Also beginning with CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) words is the perfect place to start because they are short and predictable. The child may already know some of these words by sight. And our course, add more words and flashcards as they are able!

Point to each letter. Many classrooms have these.  I often use my drum mallets simply because they are convenient. You could even use a brightly colored piece of paper. The point is to help our children distinguish between each letter while we are singing.

Fill in the blank. This is the perfect opportunity to practice verbalizing the sounds. When the music pauses, you and your learner can practice identifying AND actually making the sounds!

Encourage independence. Eventually, the child should be able to use this song and strategy on his or her own. Gradually remove yourself from the process as they learn the song and become more comfortable.




Every word has a beginning and an end.
Every word has a beginning and an end.
Help us out if you can. Yes, be a good friend.
Every word has a beginning and an end.
The beginning sound is _____.
The ending sound is _____.
That makes the words that we know:  _____.

I have been using this song for quite some time and am having good success. It is a joy to watch my clients’ faces light up after they figure out the word we are spelling! It’s priceless!

Need to use your own list of words? Head on over to our store where the download includes a fill in the blank version of the song.

Sing on,

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