In this video segment from Between the Lions, a guitar-playing robot and a kazoo-playing rooster play a song called "Rocket-Doodle-Doo." This catchy song features lots of rhymes, illustrates a strategy for teaching new vocabulary words, and its text can be used to build fluency in reading.
Behind the fun and silliness of "Rocket-Doodle-Do" lie important elements of early reading. Children enjoy the upbeat tune and the robot-rooster musical duo, but the song's lyrics also feature the kind of repetitive rhyming and wordplay that tend to correlate strongly to early success in reading.
As the brain is organizing itself to learn language, repeated rhymes and wordplay help children focus on small elements in the language stream they hear. In particular, playing with the rhyme and rhythm in songs helps children develop phonological awareness—the ability to hear and pay attention to the sounds and rhythms of speech. Being able to hear and identify rhymes—to know that "rock" rhymes with "clock"—is a sign that a child is aware that these words share the same ending sounds. Eventually, this ability to distinguish among the sounds in words (phonemes) will help a child make the association between written letters and the sounds they represent.
In addition, "Rocket-Doodle-Doo" playfully combines a set of target words. The song was written for an episode of Between the Lions about a little rock that rolls out of a dictionary and tries to get back in again. It finds its place on a page with the words “robot," “rocket," “roof," and “rooster." The song "Rocket-Doodle-Doo" was created to combine all the words on the page. Experts recommend just this type of instructional practice when working with new vocabulary: revisit the target words often and use them in different contexts.
Some children may note that many of the words in the song begin with the same /r/ sound. This ability to focus on the beginning sounds in words and recognize those that match is another important practice in building phonological awareness. Effective teachers will point out these matches (known as alliteration) by stretching out the beginning sounds as they say the words: rrrrrrocket, rrrrroof, rrrrrooster, etc.
The song lyrics are shown as print on screen, with a bouncing ball tracking the words as they are sung. This demonstrates an important concept of print: that we read from left to right on a page. The rhythm of the song and the lively ball show an example of reading fluency, which refers to the ability to recognize words easily and read with the right rhythm and intonation. When children read fluently, it sounds natural, and it is a sign that they recognize and understand what they are reading.
Academic standards correlations on Teachers' Domain use the Achievement Standards Network (ASN) database of state and national standards, provided to NSDL projects courtesy of JES & Co.
We assign reference terms to each statement within a standards document and to each media resource, and correlations are based upon matches of these terms for a given grade band. If a particular standards document of interest to you is not displayed yet, it most likely has not yet been processed by ASN or by Teachers' Domain. We will be adding social studies and arts correlations over the coming year, and also will be increasing the specificity of alignment.