I Have a Little Dog


Phonological awareness, the ability to break word up into syllables, recognizing upper- and lowercase letters are two of the main indicators of reading success.   This FREE Syllable Song with additional resources helps your child develop both.
And for all you ESL teachers: This song introduces animal names as well as possessive pronouns his / her as well!

I have illustrated a few of Nancy Stewart’s awesome songs already because my ESL children just love the tunes and simple lyrics. Here’s another one that – a little modified – can really help build this all-important pre-reading skills of phonological awareness as well as upper- and lowercase letter matching:



Download your FREE Syllable Song and resources HERE


This download includes

  • The Syllable Song ‘I Have a Little Dog’ illustrated in black and white and set according to the Syllable Method
  • 12 animal cards
  • 12 name cards
  • 12 possessive pronoun cards (6 his / 6 her)
  • 4 blank cards (for your own ideas)





The Syllable Method – Easy Reading

This song (as well as all the others you’ll find on this blog) is set according to the Syllable Method:

  • In longer words, syllables are color coded, alternating between black and red (banana)
  • Letters with unusual pronunciation, silent e’s and sight words that one can’t figure out by their letters are printed in lighter color (house, one, pudding, little)
  • “Sneaky e” syllables which many children find hard to read are underlined (nice, make)


How to Sing and Play – 4 Fun Suggestions

Simply Sing
First of all (most basic and before the real fun starts), sing the song with your children and make sure everybody understands the text and is familiar with the tune. In case you don’t know how to sing it hop over HERE to Nancy Stewarts blog and listen to her singing it for you (You can download sheet music as well).

Choose Your Creature
Now, of course, having a dog is fun – but what if you didn’t only have a dog but a whole bunch of other animals that you take for a walk around the neighborhood. Insert any one syllable animal and the song will still work well. Why not let your class choose which creature they want to go walking with?

Matching Names
Even more advanced: Let your children choose a name that starts with the same letter as the animal name – fish, Fiona / sheep / Shirley… To make things easier for you I have included suitable animal and name cards in the download already – so just print and you’re ready to go. (Finding corresponding animals and names will strengthen your children’s phonological awareness – using the cards will provide an upper- and lowercase matching activity as well).

Animal Quiz
What about you give your class a letter sound and they have to find an animal (or a name) that begins with it. You’ll be amazed at who children might want to walk down the street. (Plus: This exercise really boosts vocabulary.) For a set of FREE dyslexic-friendly (but also suited for all other children) alphabet cards click HERE.

His or Her?
Many ESL children struggle using his and her correctly. Use the possessive pronoun cards provided in the download to reinforce that skill. Simply make sure your class choose her for girls names and his for boys names. (In case the English names are very uncommon in your area simply choose local names to introduce this exercise).



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