Nursery Rhymes are a great way to warm up, tune into the new language, start the lesson, take a break or just have fun!
To teach a new rhyme:
Pre-teach new words or the ones that you think yor child don’t know. Think about a way to introduce the theme in a way that children will be able to understand (real objects, flashcards) Eg.: For the song “Who took the cookie from the cookie jar” I brought to class a jar and I decided not to bring any cookie because they already knew the word cookies. I showed children the jar and said: “Look, a cookie jar! What do you think there’s inside?” – The answer is not predictable as you could imagine so sometimes you should go on with other concept questions such as: “Are there broccoli/tomatoes/carrots in a cookie jar?” Try to enphasize the word cookie. Someone will for sure come out with the right answer. If they don’t, you say it. No problem. Then you create suspance around the jar and say: “Let’s open it!”. When you open it… “oooooh! No cookies! Who took the cookie? Who took the cookie from the cookie jar? Was it you, Marco? Or was it you, Emily? They laugh and enjoy so much this moment pretending to have or have not taken the cookie.
Set the task: give children a reason to learn.
“Let’s discover who took the cookie, then!” At this point I have my computer ready to play “Who took the cookie from the cookie jar” video. I ask them who these animals are: panda, kangaroo, penguin, rabbit, bear. Ask again: “Who do you think took the cookie?” and let them make predictions about it. In this way you’re creating interest in the topic and they’re watching the video song to find out who took the cookie.
Sing along with the song
and start introducing the gestures. Children will follow even though they still can’t catch all the words.
Feedback after the song
At the end ask: “Who took the cookie from the cookie jar?” Children will say: “Kangaroo!”. Ask:”Mummy kangaroo or baby kangaroo? At this point, they found out who took the cookie, understood the meaning of the song, caught some words and eventually someone even started singing!
Play a game around the rhyme
I found a great game from Supersimplelearning where you can download the cards for the “Who took the cookie” game. Make a circle, distribute the cards and start singing without music. Children will hear your voice clearly and join with gestures and hopefully singing. Repeat the game as many times as the children feel like.
At this point yo can organise the classroom with different activities. Set up two or three tables: one for Art&Craft (Making cookies out of paper and stick them in a paper jar or making cookies with plasticine),
one for another game (like memory game or again, the Who took the cookie cards) and one for role-play with a pretend oven and plastic cookies.Give the children the chance to choose where they would like to play and then invite them to change. In this way, every child, who is especially unique, will learn in the best way for him/her. We decided the activities and gave them the freedom to learn how to learn, while having fun!
Download the pdf here nursery-rhyme-cards or below our selection of Nursery Rhyme Cards, which will be updated for sure. Tell us which are your favourite ones, and which you would like us to add to our selection!
Looking forward to hear
how you teach
your rhymes clear!