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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Rhymes, Art, Reciting, Oh My!

Tuesday Slice of Life hosted by Two Writing Teachers.

Normally, I start the school year out with nursery rhymes in my kindergarten classroom.  It allows me to see what kinds and how much experience my students have with literacy.  It shows me who can rhyme.  It also allows me to begin working on letter and sound identification. 

This year I was out on maternity leave for the month of September.  Let's just say, that situation is less than ideal.  My substitute did some nursery rhyme work, but I had noticed, on several ocassions throughout the year, that many of my students did not know some of the most common nursery rhymes.  I know, sad, isn't it?

With all the time we were spending in the last couple of months on poetry, I decided to incorporate some nursery rhymes in once again.  Yes, some kids already knew them all, but I found that they still really enjoyed revisiting them.  

This time around I didn't spend the time on letter and sound recognition.  Instead I did some copy change activities.  We changed "baby" to our names in Pat-a-Cake,  changed "merrily" to different adjectives in Row, Row, Row Your Boat, and we also changed the way and the type of boat of traveling in that rhyme.  For example, we wrote "Paddle, paddle, paddle your canoe/quickly down the stream/happily, happily, happily, happily/life is but a dream."  The kids loved this!  It's been a few weeks now since the copy change activities, but I still hear the kids singing their own versions.  Success!

We finished up our nursery rhyme play with some art projects last week.  The kids picked which rhyme they wanted to learn from several choices.  Then they worked on  an art project to match.  After completing the art, the kids stood before the class, in their rhyme groups, and recited their rhyme/showed off their magnificent art.  Check it out!

I'm a Little Teapot

Itsy Bitsy Spider   

Jack and Jill          

Humpty Dumpty   

The projects were great fun and the performances were even better!  This is what kindergarten is all about! 


  1. I love the idea of revisiting nursery rhymes - new skills add new understanding. The props are wonderful.

  2. I love the changing words! Talk about the importance of word choice. This has made a lesson start to brew in my mind. Keep the fun happening, it promotes learning!

  3. Thanks for sharing some of the art that goes along with the performance.

  4. Love it! It's great that you gave them choices and let them own their work.

  5. Thank you for sharing the artwork that went along with revisiting nursery rhymes! Fun and creative learning? I hope my daughter will have a creative teacher like you when she is in Kindergarten. I appreciate the fact that you returned to something that worked well, even though the customary time for the lesson had passed.

    Hmm... I bet I can update this for middle schoolers! Word choice? Rewriting nursery rhymes? Thanks for the inspiration!

  6. I think your lesson idea could work across ages, too. I love hearing about all the lit work you do with these kindergarteners. You've set them up so well, & now they just fly! Thanks, Robin.

  7. Thank you for sharing! Going to be in K for the first time next year and I love hearing and seeing what others are doing.