This song is available on AlphaSongs.
The letter Z's sound is one that most kids can identify early on. Like B, D, J, K, P, T and V, the onset sound in the name of the letter IS the sound of the letter. The words "zig" and "zag" are good ones with which to introduce letter Z because they describe its shape. It is one of the simpler letters to write as well, composed entirely of straight lines (it's really just a 7 with a base).
I like to teach Z in conjunction with S since the mouth position is the same. Just as is true with letters F and V, the only difference between the two is voice. Have your children make an /s/ sound. Ask them to make note of where their tongue is. Now have them hum while doing an /s/ sound. The result is /z/. Pretty cool, isn't it? This is why kids confuse the S at the end of many plural nouns with Z - same mouth position, and in many cases, same sound.
Z lends itself to lessons on alphabetical order. Pre-reading skills definitely include an understanding of the order of the alphabet letters, and alphabetizing is just an application of this understanding. The plight of the Z song's character, Zachary Zavala, is understood by many, (I can relate, even as a W). Use this story to introduce alphabetical order, discuss when it might be helpful (can you imagine trying to look up a name in a phone book or a word in the dictionary WITHOUT alphabetical order?). Alphabetize the names of friends and family members, video tapes, cereal boxes, etc. This is truly a lifelong skill -- it's never too young to start practicing!
There once was a kid
Named Zachary Zavala
But everyone just called him Zack
And whenever his teacher would say,
"Line up children"
She would always put Zack at the back
Now Zack did not mind
This arrangement at first
But it stayed this way year after year
Because both of his names
Began with a Z
He forever would bring up the rear
"It just isn't fair,"
He would say to himself
"Why must I be last every day?"
And he dreamed of a world
Where the alphabet started
With Z and it ended with A
Then something quite wonderful
Happened to Zack
He landed in Miss Zulu's class
And she could remember
When she was a student
She always would have to be last
So whenever Miss Zulu would
Line up the children
She'd do the whole thing in reverse
She'd read off the names
Starting right at the bottom
And Zachary would always be first
This year in Miss Zulu's class
Seemed like a dream
But all good things surely must pass
In a world where they organize
Things A to Z
I guess that's the way
That it just has to be
When your name just happens
To start with a Z
You're probably going to be last
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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