If you need decoding multisyllabic words 5th grade worksheets, rap song lyrics are the best way to do it!
Watch the video about how to teach syllables using rap songs or read the transcript below.
Why should we teach syllables?
First of all, it’s critical that students understand how to use syllables, how to read them, and identify them correctly when reading. Because if they don’t, they can dramatically change the meaning of what they’re reading. For example, I was working with a student, and he was reading a sentence, something to the effect of, “All of these are locally grown.” But he read it as, “All of these are lowly grown.” I’m like, “Um, that’s a bit of a different meaning.” So I had to go back and show the student how to look exactly at each syllable, reading carefully.
Syllables reinforce root words and affixes.
And this goes back to just understanding root words and affixes that plays into syllables. If your students can understand syllable structure correctly, it reinforces their understanding of root words and also affixes. This gives your student a better understanding of words themselves, what they mean, and then at the sentence level, understanding each individual word to impact the overall reading comprehension within that sentence.
Choose relevant and clean music.
With all that said, how do we teach syllables using rap music? The first thing is selecting good music. Now, this is kind of hard because you have to look for clean music. You want to find the best songs that are also engaging for students, but you want to make sure it’s school-appropriate. Here’s a list of songs for that right here. Right now, I just want to get into the nitty-gritty of how to do it.
Teach syllables with dance
Now, one of my favorite activities to do with teaching syllables is to teach syllables with dance. Oh my goodness, do I love some dance and syllables. The way you do it is this: each number of syllables in a word would get a certain dance move.
Let’s say you’re reading through a text and you want students to identify monosyllabic and multisyllabic words. You would assign a different dance move per syllable in the word. And as you read a text or have a student read the text, you can say one of those words and have students react using the dance move.
For one syllable, you might have a student kneel down. For a two-syllable word, you might have them glide. For a three-syllable word, you might have them do a kick. And for a four-syllable word, you might have them do, if you want to go with a more technical term, a top rock, which is a b-boy move.
Every time you read a word in the sentence or you simply say a word to them, your students will react with a dance move. This is so fun, highly engaging, and it helps students understand the musicality behind words.
Drum out the syllables in a word.
Another fun thing to do when teaching syllables is to have your students drum out the amount of syllables in each word. So, if you say a word like “rap,” it’ll get one drum tap. If you say a word like “op/(e)ra,” it gets two. If you say a word like “syl/la/ble,” it gets three. Super simple, but it’s a very effective way to get students engaged with their learning. It involves TPR (total physical response) and is hands on.
You can add in music to have students even dance while you say the words. You can get to the point where you have students choreographing dance moves to specific words while other students are drumming. The sky’s the limit with this type of syllable instruction.
Rap-based syllable activities.
If you want done-for-you activities for syllables using clean, school-appropriate rap songs, click here. All of these activities are based on our own rap songs that cover hip-hop history, historical heroes, and history parody of comicbook characters and kids’ movies.
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Until then, happy teaching to you!
Ken with Rap Opera for Kids