Review of If You’re Happy (and you know it) by Super Simple Songs

“If you’re happy and you know it” is one of those quintessential classic children songs that really should be taught to English learners, if nothing else, for cultural reasons. The trouble is, in the words of the good people at Super Simple Learning, “The traditional version of this song can be a little tough for younger learners. If you visit an EFL or ESL class, or even a class of younger native-speakers, you’ll often hear the children singing something like:

If you’re happy (mumble, mumble, mumble) clap your hands!

If you’re happy (mumble, mumble, mumble) clap your hands!

If you’re happy (mumble, mumble, mumble), (mumble, mumble, mumble)

If you’re happy (mumble, mumble, mumble) clap your hands!

“The tempo is often too quick and phrases like “and you know it” and “then your face will surely show it” aren’t easy for young children to sing or understand through gestures and expressions.” I couldn’t have said it better myself.

So they went and fixed one of the most well-known children songs of all time, and by that, I really mean fixed it. The new version retains the traditional melody while the simple (and IMHO, improved) lyrics focus on the core vocabulary: emotions like happy, angry, scared, and sleepy; as well as TPR actions such as clap your hands, stomp your feet, say “oh no!”, and take a nap. All my preschoolers loved singing this new version, especially the ones who were already familiar with it. In the (L1) words of one of my students, “Wow, it’s a lot easier to sing than the one my mom plays for me at home.”

Super Simple Learning has also released a new ultra-cute music video on YouTube,
which I recently used during a music festival at one of the preschools I freelance at. We put the video up on the large screen for the children and parents to sing along to, and boy did they; even the younger siblings were having a ball trying to dance like the characters on the screen. (Broccoli head, as he was called, proved a huge hit!)

Finally, like all songs from Super Simple Learning, there are great teaching tips on the song page as well as free flashcards you check out.

Free Flash Cards for "If You're Happy" by Super Simple Learning

I happen to love these flashcards but some of my younger children confused “scared” for “sad”.


2 thoughts on “Review of If You’re Happy (and you know it) by Super Simple Songs

  1. Mark,
    Thank you for your nice review! We always love to hear how teachers are using our materials and how students/kids respond to them.
    Glad everyone enjoyed “Broccoli Head” and friends. They’ll definitely be back in more videos!

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