Nursery rhymes are a great way to expand a child’s reading skills. The rhyme, rhythm, repetition, and short length all make them great resources. And then of course many of them have tunes to sing along with, wonderful pictures—and your children may well have already heard them over and over during bedtime reading when they were little! You will also want to share your own learning of nursery rhymes when you were young—and be sure to recite several! Children enjoy hearing their parents recite. It will also encourage your child to begin memorizing, starting with nursery rhymes, and carrying on into more complex poetry, song lyrics, and other material such as quotations, scripture, and selections from famous speeches. A great way to start memorization is as a family, when you go for long car drives or walks together.
Even if the nursery rhymes have words that you think are far above your child’s current reading ability, you will be surprised how quickly your child will come to recognize those words by “sight”—and then you can also “sound them out” and write them as well.
I recommend using a variety of “Nursery Rhyme” books; and you may even want to use 2 or 3 different books for the same poem, as each book has its own illustrations, and often has different versions and verses. Your child will be intrigued by the variations, and by old-fashioned illustrations as well as more modern ones. As a number of the activities I suggest include having your child develop his own versions of the rhymes, he will probably be more open to doing so, when he sees how many different versions already exist.
Nursery Rhymes are also available widely on YouTube and on various websites, which often include illustrations/animations, and sing-along tunes. In the teaching suggestions here you will find some of the nursery rhymes I’ve used with my own children and with my tutoring students, and some activities we’ve done with them.
This theme consists of links and sources for low-cost or free resources, and sample lessons consisting of specific rhymes and activities that you can use with them.
I am providing this NURSERY RHYMES LEARNING THEME for free, right here, so you’ll get an idea of the kinds of things my learning themes include. You can download it (and print it out if you wish) here — or you can get it at my TeachersPayTeachers.com store, where you’ll also be able to check out my “Easy To Learn” booklets series, my cookbook, and booklets of my poetry and stories–as well as a number of other Learning Themes which will be posted over the next while.