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Archived Teacher's Forum: 1999 - 2000
Teaching Nursery Rhymes

There are a lot of different approaches to teaching nursery rhymes to children and many different related lessons. This forum is a place where teachers and parents can relate their experiences (or questions about) teaching with rhymes (especially using the computer). Please add your techniques so that others can benefit from your knowledge and experience!

Click here to add your experiences, lesson plans, or questions.



my lesson plans are for colouring in pictures

from Daniela Couto, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia; Nov. 21, 2000 After teaching traditional nursery rhymes to my kindergartners, I introduce POSITIVELY MOTHER GOOSE, a book of traditional rhymes rewritten as the title indicates, in a more positive tone. An example: Peter, Peter, pumpkin eater, had a wife who was a leader. In a pumpkin they did dwell and loved each other very well. I read both versions to my children and have the children discuss (without my personal bias) the similarities and differences between the old and the new. I ask the children why they think changes were made (again, without interjecting my personal bias) and share their personal preference. I've found this to be a great introductory lesson on using higher order critical thinking/analytical skills of comparing and contrasting, ,while engaged with literature.

from Susan, Wilson, NC, USA; Oct. 18, 2000



i have a question. does anyone know where i can get information on writing a piggy back song. like taking the rhythm from twinkle twinkle little star and writing new words for a memory lesson. i am in my music methods and i am so stumped. if anyone knows i would greatly appreciate it. thank you. kellyspice

from kellyspice, schererville, in, USA; Sept. 30, 2000



How do I put information about Croatia together in a rhyming format.

from Eric, Zagreb, Yugoslovia, Croatia; Sept. 20, 2000



To Laura Gaffey in Dickinson, TX. In response to Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater- run a pumpkin drawing on orange construction paper then have the children tape, at the top of the pumpkin only, onto a white piece of paper so the pumpkin is a "flap". Then have them draw a picture under the pumpkin "flap" of what they think Peter's wife is doing while she is locked in her pumpkin shell. They can then dictate to you what she is doing while you write it at the bottom. It is also a good idea to glue the poem on the back so they can "read" it to their parents. This works great with Little Boy Blue also, wiht the haystack as the "flap". I forgot, have them cut out the pumpkin!Good luck! I hope this helps!

from Jeannee' Neville, Oroville, CA, USA; Sept. 12, 2000



HI I AM A TRAINEE AND I AM TRAINING IN A SCHOOL I HAVE TO GIVE A LESSON ON MATHS CONCEPT "TALL AND SHORT" I WOULD BE HIGHLY OBLIGED IF YOU WOULD GIVE ME A RHYME CONTAING TALL AND SHORT AS I CAN USE IT FOR MY INTRODUCTION THANKING YOU, YOUR'S FAITHFULLY, NIKITA JHAVERI

from POOJA JHAVERI, BOMBAY, MAHARASHTRA, INDIA; Sept. 9, 2000



Teaching Nursery Rhymes has become quite traditional in our preschool. We have two learning sessions throughout our school year. We start as young as our infants with songs and hand gestures and progress up with our preschool program. We concentrate a full week on them and enjoy incorporating them into our cooking sessions also. With Itsy Bitsy Spider the children enjoy making curds and whey. We have incorporated file folder games into our nursery rhyme week, such as Little Boy Blue must look for a variety of items before he finds his horn. We also have a day where the children and the teachers dress as their favorite nursery rhyme character, this has proven to be quite fun!

from Peggy Huston, director, Independence, Kentucky, USA; Sept. 2, 2000



in response to grace in new york's ideas about teaching sounds awareness to her first graders...put the rhymes on sentence strips and do sequencing in groups...also an oral cloze of the rhyme using words on cards to be added to rhyme which is written on a large piece of cardboard. enlarged print is the way to go with first graders so you can use nursery rhymes effectively in shared reading. also while reading the rhymes on a white board or butcher's paper write rhyme substitutions eg sheep, beep, peep, keep etc brainstorm with the kids getting them to change the onset (beginning letter) while keeping the rhyme that is found in the nursery rhyme e.g bab baa black sheep. innovvate on text as a jointconstruction of text lesson to make a new rhyme based on original one.

from Michelle, Sydney, Australia; August 22, 2000



If you're a pre-school teacher this is a neat song to teach you're children.It's called "Baby Bumble Bee." This is how it goes:I'm bringing home a baby bumble bee won't my mommy be so proud of me, I'm bringing home a baby bumble bee OUCH! it stung me. I'm sqishing up my baby bumble bee won't my mommy be so proud of me,I'm sqishing up my baby bumble bee.YUCK! bee guts, I'm wiping off my baby bumble bee won't my mommy be so proud of me ,I'm wiping off my baby bumble bee.THERE all clean.

from Ashley McGinnis, Andalusia, Alabama, USA; August 18, 2000



In response to Arlene Sherman, Hauppauge, New York's query about teaching letter sound associations - Letterland links up beautifully with working with Nursery Rhymes. You can search Letterland on the net - they have a site. It introduces the letters through storying and by giving them characters. The Little Explorers Picture Dictionary on this site then just links up fantastically with the letters and gives the children follow on from Letterland. I've just discovered Enchanted learning and I love it. I am a Learning Support teacher in a small country primary school and I can see lots of applications for the students I work with (from 4 to 12 year olds). Thank you Enchanted Learning.

from Lorraine Brown, Yandina, Queensland, Australia; July 18, 2000



Letting the children become the characters I have found is the fastest and most interesting way to learn the rhythms. Last week we did Jack Be Nimble. Each child had an imaginary candle we kept in the window, they had to get there candle place it on the floor do the rhythm and then return the candle till the next time. Children asked to get there candles and repeat the activity over and over.

from Viola Lea Lester, Baltimore, Maryland, America; July 7, 2000



Does anyone know a song called "coconut soap"? I'd like to teach my daughter this song, but I don't have the lyrics.

from Sophia Liao, Taichung, Taiwan, R.O.C.; June 4, 2000



I had a 5 year old boy bitten by an unidentified spider, which required him to spend a few hours being observed in hospital and a course of antibiotics. We had a large huntsman spider hunting around the classroom, and this is a harmless spider, but terrifying looking. So I decided we needed to talk about leaving spiders alone. We read some factual posterss, sang the song about Itsy Bitsy Spider, and then made craft spiders from the recycled cardboard cartons and pipe cleaners. The children had lots of fun, and now we will continue to explore some of the other nursery rhymes on this great site. Thanks.

from Ro Milbourne, Shepparton, Victoria, Australia; April 12, 2000



Having browsed Rebus Rhymes I would like to try linking Ten Little Monkeys to a Maths lesson or a series of maths lessons. I think it could be linked to making a class book which could incorporate the elements of Maths and English. Has anybody got any suggestions which could me in my P.1. class. There are excellent opportunities when using Rebus Rhymes to make worksheets based on missing word activities. They could also be used for cloze procedures with older children.These rhymes could also be used as a starting point for e.g.P3 - P5 children to enable them to begin composing their own poetry.

from Ann McAuley, Ballymena Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom; March 29, 2000



I have spent a long time teaching 4 - 5 year olds and one of our main topics is Nursery Rhymes and traditional tales. Our whole term is devoted to this theme using big books for Literacy and Numeracy. We have various role play areas including castles and Mary Mary's Garden Centre which can be inside or out. The children can join in designing the play areas and making objects to go in them. A giant beanstalk appears on the floor using masking tape and can be used for a variety of subject areas. The possiblities are endless and only restricted by the imagination. Good publications include - Infant Education, Sherston Nursery Ryhmes computer games. Good luck.

from jan Randall, Hayling Island, Hampshire, England; January 6, 2000



Use an object bag or box when teaching nursery rhymes. As a child oulls out an object it should trigger a rhyme. For example, a dog bone for Old Mother Hubbard, & a little mouse for hickory Dickory Dock. Act out, pantomine, each rhyme & have a lot of fun!

from Lenore Piccoli, Livingston, NJ, USA; January 6, 2000



I am an English teacher to secondary students here in Malaysia. But I am crazy about little kids and have 2 twin boys of two years old. i expose them to a lot of English books, especially rhymes. They are much more interesting, repetitious, easy to remember and short. My kids love them and can already say some short ones. English is only our second language but I'm exposing them and even teaching them to read in English first. I haven't tried using the computer (rhymes through the computer) but they do love Dr Seuss' CDs on the computer. I think I have to wait until they can really read. But if the CD chants the sounds with them, they might be able to read them easier, by following the dancing letters.

from Khadijah Tifla, Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia; December 13, 1999



I am a reading teacher in New York City with very low functioning first graders. Their letter sound associations are practically none existent. Although I am experienced, this is my first year working with little ones and I am overwhelmed as to where to start first. I had the brainstorm to use these awesome rebus nursery rhymes to teach them number concepts, days of the week. I plan to pull out specific sight words from each rhyme.. The go on to initial consonants. Any suggestions on how to use these rhymes in any other ways?

Thank you so much in advance!

from Arlene Sherman, Hauppauge, New York, USA; November 11, 1999



to grace in brooklyn; check out the mayer johnson communication books they have some nursery rhyme pictures and communication ideas gwen

from gwen smith, san angelo, texas, USA; November 9, 1999



I teach a class of 4-6 year old non-reading autistic children. I would like to know if anyone has information on teaching nursery rhymes across the curriculums. Right now I am using Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and Starlight Starbright.
Laura

from Grace Shock, Brooklyn, NY, USA; October 19, 1999



Do you have any ideas for Peter, Peter Pumpkin Eater? I'm currently working toward my teacher certification and I need to teach a lesson about pumpkins to a kindergarten class. Thank you,
Laura

from Laura Gaffey, Dickinson, TX, USA; October 9, 1999



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