The traditional song “Today is Monday” has become very popular, thanks in part to Eric Carle’s engaging book by the same name, which has a new food for each day of the week. You can help children learn initial consonant sounds by changing the song to name a food that starts with the same letter as each weekday.
In my version of the song, I serve mashed potatoes on Monday, tomatoes on Tuesday, waffles on Wednesday, and of course turkey on Thursday. This song is on my CD, “Singing All the Way Home.” You can find all the lyrics on the lyrics page of this website.
Learning about different categories of words is important for young children. You can vary this song by thinking of a different category of words and finding a word in that category that has the same starting letter as each weekday. Let’s say your category is musical instruments or animals. You can change the final line of each verse to: “All you lucky children, come and sing a song” or “All you lucky children, going to the zoo.” You could have:
Monday – monkey, marimba
Tuesday – turtle, tuba
Wednesday – woodchuck, wood block or whistle
Thursday – turkey (same as the food!), trumpet or trombone
Friday – frog, fiddle
Saturday – snake, saxophone
Sunday – stork, steel drum
You can find lots more instruments on this Wikipedia list.
Learning and rewriting a song such as this one is a great way to invite children’s participation in brainstorming about letter sounds. Children can also create their own version of Eric Carle’s book. You can listen to all my songs and find more ideas like this one at Songs for Teaching.
If you want even more varieties of food to sing about, consider the songs and books by Johnette Downing, a singer and children’s author from New Orleans. She first wrote a New Orleans version of “Today is Monday,” featuring such foods as jambalaya and beignets. Soon she moved on to books of enticing dishes from other locales from Texas to New York. I hope she got a chance to visit each place and taste the goods for real!
Liz, you are such a great resource! I know so many preschool/kindergarten songs and always think I’m ready for my next preschool sing, and then you offer a reminder of an old song with a new twist, or something new and fresh that you’ve written and I just can’t resist adding them into my songbag. What generosity of spirit that you share them so freely! I want to learn how to do these things online. Would you be willing to show me, if I drove into Boston one day?
Wonderful ideas, Liz. I love the extensions into animals and instruments. I know my kiddos will want to sing about sharks for the “S” days!
Liz what a great idea to use the musical instruments! This year’s young people’s concert in Columbus is based on the book “M is for Music”, so using this song will be a perfect complement. Thanks for a great idea 🙂