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Alphabet Song for the Letter "Y"
Greg Whitfield

This song is available on AlphaSongs.

Here's another one of those tricky ones. Y does not make the same sound as D, although most kids think it does. Again, the confusion stems from the incompatibility between Y's name and its sound. The goal in teaching this sound is to put as much distance as possible between the name and the sound, focusing instead on the sight of Y and its sound.

As was the case with W, writing Y words where the letter can be seen and not merely referred to by name is helpful. Start with words from the song: yogurt, yams, yo-yo, yellow, yesterday, yes, you, yonder, young, year, yankee, yard, yak, yet, yummy, yarn, yeah. Print the words on small strips of paper and glue on construction paper in the shape of the letter Y. Some of these words can be sounded out fairly easily (yams, yo-yo, yes, yak, yet) while others are high frequency words, or found easily in the child's environment (yogurt, yellow, you, yard). Help your child read these words, think up some more of your own. The goal here is to train the eye to see Y and have the brain respond with /y/.

Y is also a very common letter at the end of words (and a lot of names). As an extension, discuss the long E or long I sound made by Y in this position. Remind your child that many letters generate more than one sound (all vowels, G, C, X). Try coming up with a list of easy to read Y words (my, baby, why, by, happy), and help your child determine which of the Y sounds the letter makes in each.

I like yogart and I like yams
The feel of a yoyo in my hands
Yellow cakes and yellow pies
Yellow shirts and yellow ties

And yesterday's my favorite day
And "yes" my favorite word to say
And it should come as no surprise
My all-time favorite letter is Y

'Cause Y goes /y/ /y/ /y/ in words like you
/y/ /y/ /y/ in yonder, too
/y/ /y/ /y/ in young and year
Y makes the sound I love to hear

Now Y can fool you just the same
That /y/ sound isn't even in its name
Just remember yankee and yarn and yak
And yet and yummy and the yard out back

'Cause Y goes /y/ /y/ /y/ in words like you
/y/ /y/ /y/ in yonder, too
/y/ /y/ /y/ in young and year
Y makes the sound I love to hear
Oh, Y makes the sound I love to hear
Oh, yeah..


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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