Nursery rhymes are used to encourage emerging literacy skills in young children. Rhyming words and rhythm make nursery rhymes among the easiest text for children to memorise. Memorising short passages encourages children to connect print to spoken words. Nursery rhymes contain crucial story elements such as character, setting, problems and resolutions that are the basis for later reading comprehension.
This activity is appropriate for preschool or Kindergarten. One of the most exciting ways to practice sequencing a nursery rhyme is through role playing. Allow students to dress up as the characters in a nursery rhyme. Write each line of the rhyme on a different index card. As you read the card, have the students act out the rhyme. Deliberately mix up the order of the cards. The actions should be very difficult to role play out of order. As the students to explain what is wrong with the way you read the rhyme. Have student help figure out the correct order of events by acting out each line.
Picture Pocket Charts
Print out or make nursery rhyme picture sequencing cards for eight different rhymes. Laminate the card so they can be used for many years. Mix up the cards for one nursery rhyme and display them in a pocket chart the kids can reach. Have students work with a partner to put the cards in the correct sequence. When they are finished, have students retell the rhyme to their partner. Repeat this activity with cards from each of the rhymes. This activity works best with preschool or Kindergarten students. For printable nursery rhyme sequencing cards, see the article in Resources.
Pocket Chart Rhymes
For older Kindergarten or primary grade students, write each line of a nursery rhyme on a separate sentence strip. Place the strips in a pocket chart the students can reach. Have students work with a buddy to unscramble the rhyme. When the rhyme is correctly sequenced, students must read it aloud to their partners.
Finger Puppet Plays
Have students work in groups of four to create finger puppet plays of their favourite rhymes. Assign a different nursery rhyme to each group. Each group must make finger puppets for their play. Write the lines of each nursery rhyme on index cards. For each rhyme, mix up the cards and read the lines out of order as the finger puppets attempt to act out the rhyme. Have students reorder the rhyme correctly as they act out the lines. This activity is ideal for preschool or Kindergarten students. For printable finger puppet patterns, see the article in Resources.
Nursery Rhyme Scramble
This online game is appropriate for high-functioning Kindergarten or primary grade students. The student logs on to the free game and chooses a nursery rhyme to unscramble. All the words to the rhyme appear in the box on the computer screen. The student must put all the words in the correct order to complete the rhyme. Students must be able to work independently and read easy sight words.