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Silly Songs: A Fun Way to Build Fluency Skills From Afar
—Dr. Timothy V. Rasinski and Melissa Cheesman Smith

About the Authors

Timothy V. Rasinski, Ph.D., is a Professor of Literacy Education at Kent State University and a former elementary and middle school classroom and Title-I teacher. He has authored, coauthored, or edited more than 50 books and 200 articles on reading education.

Melissa Cheesman Smith is an author of professional books and a teacher at the elementary and college level with a Master’s of Education in Curriculum and Instruction.

Expert Idea

Silly Songs

Fluency is the ability to read with expression, automatic word recognition, rhythm and phrasing, and smoothness. For students to read a passage fluently, they have to comprehend the meaning of the passage. And, conversely, when they read a passage fluently it indicates that they’re comprehending the passage and getting meaning from it.

Rhythmic texts such as poems, songs, and chants are naturals for building reading fluency. Songs in particular are perfect because melody is a form of prosody, or expression. Furthermore, when children sing songs with their eyes on the printed lyrics, they are not only building fluency skills, but also word-recognition skills.

Teach It

Tip Sheet Image

Download the Tip Sheet for ideas on how to teach a silly song to students at home.

BHH flipbook image

Download a selection of silly songs for inspiration.


Watch and Learn

Dr. Rasinski first leads students in a classic song “London Bridge” and then introduces them to “You Are My Teacher,” the silly spin on “You Are My Sunshine.”

Melissa sings a silly song with her son at home that many caregivers will relate to: “He’s Always on His Phone”!

Learn More

  • Read a Sample Chapter
    Click here here to download an excerpt from Rasinski and Smith's book, The Megabook of Fluency.
  • Order the Book
    Click here to order The Megabook of Fluency.