Hello song - experience plan

This simple greeting song is a fun way to promote children’s understanding of syllables and support their understanding of the linguistic diversity amongst their peers and educators.

This experience should be differentiated depending on the individual child or group level.

This learning experience plan relates to:

  • emergent literacy
  • early language user (12-36 months)
  • learning focus: phonological awareness
  • teaching practice: performing arts.

Collect information

  • What evidence has been gathered as evidence to inform this experience?

Outcome 4: Identity

Children develop knowledgeable and confident self-identities:

  • Children use their home language to construct meaning.

Outcome 5: Communication

Children begin to understand how symbols and pattern systems work:

  • Children listen and respond to sounds and patterns in speech, stories and rhyme.

Victorian curriculum levels F-2: literature

  • Replicate the rhythms and sound patterns in stories, rhymes, songs and poems from a range of cultures.

Learning intentions

To develop children’s awareness of:

  • monosyllabic words
  • polysyllabic words.

Assessment of learning

Learning is demonstrated when children:

  • clap, stomp or pat the syllables in monosyllabic words as they sing the song - for example, ‘you’ and ‘May’
  • clap, tap or pat the syllables in polysyllabic words as they sing the song - for example, ‘Ma...ry’ or ‘Fi…o…na’.

Group size

Small group (two-five children).


Differentiation should be based on prior assessment of children’s communication skills. Examples of differentiation:

  • Provide physical support for children who have difficulty with syllable clapping/stomping. For example, put hands over child’s hands to help them achieve the clap. Using two blocks to support clapping can also be helpful for children with motor planning difficulties.
  • Extend learning for children who are counting and identifying one, two and three syllables in names and words by providing opportunities for them to clap out polysyllabic words, such as helicopter/watermelon. Children could also be encouraged to identify words that start/end with the same sound (i.e. alliteration). for example ‘’Alice, Adam and Alec’’ start with an /a/.

Experience process

  1. Clearly explain the experience to the children:
    • introduce the ‘Hello Song’ and explain that the focus is on the beats in words and that children will clap/tap/pat the beats in each word.
    • explain that a beat in a word is known as a syllable; invite the children to say this word.
    • provide some examples of clapping syllables/beats in children’s names and invite the children to imitate; for example ‘’Tom’’ and ‘’A…na…ya’’.
  2. Commence the song as follows:
    • sing the song using a familiar or made up tune – tapping, clapping or patting the syllables in each word throughout the song:
      • hello hello, how are you? How are you? How are you?
      • hello hello, how are you? How are you today?
      • [child’s name], [child’s name], how are you? how are you? how are you? [child’s name], [child’s name], how are you? how are you today?”
    • once the children are joining in with tapping the beats, choose a language other than English to incorporate into the song using languages which correspond with that of the children or educators in the room. Explain this to children.
    • continue singing the song, using the following strategies to support the learning:
      • slow down the rate of singing - this is not only important to assist children with developing their awareness of syllables and sounds but also to develop their understanding and production of words in a different language.
      • pause the song to repeat children’s names as appropriate to assist children with syllabifying words.
      • overemphasise syllables in words and ensure children can see the educator’s face and mouth when speaking or singing.
      • provide children with cues as required, for example provide a model of how to break their name into syllables and encourage children to imitate.
      • talk about syllables/beats and sounds at appropriate times throughout the song: “That’s it, An…na has two beats…An…na!”
      • ask questions as appropriate to facilitate the learning. for example “How many beats in ‘and’?”
  3. To consolidate understanding, go around the group and clap the beats in each child’s name, encouraging each child to join in.

Going further

This experience can be extended by incorporating musical instruments to syllabify and count the beats in children’s names or other words.

Reflect and review

Reflective questions for educators may include:

  • what learning has occurred? How do you know?
  • what have you realised about the child’s interests, knowledge, and capabilities?
  • in discussion with colleagues, what would you plan next to consolidate or extend children’s learning?

Alternate resources for this learning experience


  • Havenu Shalom Alechem by The Wiggles
  • Taba Naba by The Wiggles and Christine Anu.