Why teaching Nursery Rhymes?


Why teaching Nursery Rhymes?

Young children know many of the rhymes by heart, and they are familiar for them.

All cultures have traditional rhymes. They allow little children to recite, sing the rhymes, clap beats and syllables to the rhymes, act out the rhymes, and develop language skills.

The concept of rhyming words, word families, vowels, consonants, tracking print, punctuation, and other concepts are teachable moments in nursery rhymes. The rhymes are the foundation of phonological and literacy development. An entire curriculum can be integrated around nursery rhymes. They represent a strong oral heritage that will continue with each generation. It just takes a bit of creativity, patience, and planning to make the lessons fun and interesting.

There is a lot of skills you can work with nursery rhymes:

You can focus on counting and alphabet rhymes, critical thinking by the exploration of the events in some rhymes such as “why do you think Humpty Dumpty had a great fall?”, you can teach rhyming sounds and riddles and you can also work with common word families.

You can use rhymes to help reinforce classroom lessons for instance, Hickory Dickory Dock can be used in a unit about telling time or the rhyme Ten Little Monkeys can be used in a unit on numbers

You can also work with early childhood topics such as animals, food, toys, family…

You can use rhymes to introduce the children to the idea that languages and customs change over time for example long ago, people didn't have electricity or electric lights, and used candles for light…like in the case of “Jack be nimble”


Besides Nursery Rhymes …

  • Allow for self expression, encouraging a child's own response in his or her use of body and speech.
  • Provide relaxation (a legitimate opportunity to wiggle and move around).
  • Increases attention span.
  • Develops listening skills.
  • Increases manual dexterity and muscular control. 

Possibilities are endless, use your creativity and imagination!

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