Do you remember singing nursery rhymes as a small child? Many of us do! They are songs that will never leave our memories. Chances are, you were able to rhyme long before kindergarten!
Recently, it seems students entering kindergarten are not well-versed in nursery rhymes (pun intended). By not having heard nursery rhymes at home, many children enter kindergarten with a deficit in language experiences that set them up for success. The good news is it isn’t too late to harness the power of nursery rhymes in your classroom!
How Nursery Rhyme Songs Impact Learning
There are many studies vouching for the use of nursery rhyme songs in the early years. Music allows little ones to grasp words and rhyme like no other vehicle in learning. I have seen it happen for many years! If you want kids to remember a concept, tie a song to it!
What concepts are learned through singing a rhyme?
- increased vocabulary connections
- increased comprehension connections
- students develop phonological awareness through rhyme and rhythm
- reading nursery rhymes helps students to hear syllables
- students develop print-based skills
- students develop a love of reading
How to use Nursery Rhyme Songs in Your Class
My favorite way to introduce a nursery rhyme is to read a great book featuring the rhyme and beautiful illustrations! This book is probably my favorite to read to my students (and my grandsons). The illustrations are lovely! I am not an Amazon affiliate, but you can find it here:
How to Extend Learning with Nursery Rhymes
After I introduce the nursery rhyme, for instance: Humpty Dumpty, I help students to retell using sequencing cards from the rhyme. We talk about how each line of the poem tells about Humpty Dumpty. We talk about where Humpty Dumpty was at the beginning of the rhyme. Then we talk about what happened: He sat on a wall, then he had a greaaaaaat fall! We act this out by pretending to sit, then fall on the carpet gently. All the kings horses (choose students to run a circle around the group), then all the king’s men (choose all students to run around a student playing the part of Humpty Dumpty). When we sing the last line, “Couldn’t put Humpty together again”, we all return to our spots and make a pouty face. This is the point where the “magic glue” can make Humpty all well again. 🙂 Make sparkle hand gesture to return Humpty to his whole glorious self! If this doesn’t give your students something to tell parents when they get home, I would be very surprised.
When the “think and do” activity is done (whew), I give each student a set of sequencing cards to glue on a piece of construction paper. We make Humpty-Dumpty from an egg shaped blank by adding acordian folded strips of paper for arms and legs. Instant wall display! Yeah!
The class set of sequencing cards can go with sequencing pictures in your pocket chart center.
Remember: repitition is KEY. The more students interact with the readily available center activity, the more they recognize rhyme and print concepts!
You can find my Nursery Rhyme Activity Sets Here:
How Do I Use Nursery Rhymes in Small Groups?
On the day, or the next day after introducing a nursery rhyme, I add a decodable reader of the rhyme to my small group lessons. Things students can do with the decodable:
- find a focus letter or word
- find and circle the rhyming words
- point to the title and other concepts of print
- sing-read the rhyme while sweeping from left to right
- revisit the sequence of the poem: first, then, next and last
What do I use? You can find them Here:
Don’t miss the last day of the BTSBONUS23 SALE at Teachers Pay Teachers! Looking for a FREE decodable?
Find one here! I am dedicating a whole new store to Music and Rhyme! Stay tuned! I am working on mp4 files for singing with the rhymes too!
Have a wonderful Year!!