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Xx
Alphabet Song for the Letter "X"
Greg Whitfield

    
This song is available on AlphaSongs.

How did we ever learn the sound of this letter, when as children we were taught that X is always for xylophone? Fact is, X is rarely used in the initial consonant position. When it is, it makes the same sound as Z. (This explains Xerox.)

But X's main function is as a medial or final consonant. This is where it makes that handy /ks/ sound (fox, box, ax, ox). The confusion lies in our tendency to learn letter sounds by examining initial sounds only. X makes us break this habit, by forcing us to search other parts of words. In their focus on X, my students make mini books from plain white paper folded over and stapled. They generate their own text and illustrations from words containing the letter X. This is another one of those activities where conventional spelling is not the thrust, so "saxophone" is perfectly acceptable written as "saxufon." We use markers to highlight the X's in our words, and we try to come up with unique words.

One possible source of confusion: sometimes the /ks/ sound is actually made by K and S, as in "socks" ("sox" is acceptable in Chicago, but not in Teksas). However, if your children include a page in their books with words like trix or blox, don't be too quick to correct their spelling. After all, the purpose is to hear /ks/ and associate it with the letter X, and for now what's important is how it sounds, not how it loox.


Near the end of the alphabet
Just before Y
Lives a letter that's made
By crossing two lines
And this letter called X
Can sound like K-S
If it comes at the end of
A word such as flex
Or right in the middle
Like in saxophone
Or Texas or taxes
Or New Mexico
I hear it in six and
I hear it in fox
I hear it in axe and
I hear it in box
It comes at the end
Of old number six
It makes the last sound
In ox, max, and mix
But there on the alphabet
Up on the wall
The picture that goes with
The X, you recall
Is always the same
Wherever you go
X is always for xylophone

X is always for xylophone
X is always for xylophone
It's always the same
Wherever you go
X is always for xylophone

Now who thought this up?
It sounds like a Z
At the front of a word
But there just couldn't be
All that many good words
With an X at the start
Try to think of a few,
It can be pretty hard
There aren't many in fact,
Ask around and you'll see
Why X is always for xylophone

X is always for xylophone
X is always for xylophone
It's always the same
Wherever you go
X is always for xylophone

As for me, I like X
When it's not the first letter
It's so easy to read and
It sounds so much better
When it comes somewhere other than
Right at the start
But I've been around and
I know in my heart
That your teacher will probably
Point at the wall
And say, "X is always for xylophone."

X is always for xylophone
X is always for xylophone
It's always the same
Wherever you go
X is always for xylophone

 

 

See more of our Vowel, Phonics and Preschool Song Lyrics


Many thanks to Greg Whitfield for permission to publish his lyrics and lesson suggestions from AlphaSongs, a collection of 26 original songs, one for each letter in the alphabet.

Copyright © 1996 Greg Whitfield.  All rights reserved.


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