Nursery rhymes are great for teaching rhyming words, counting and rhythm. Most kindergartners love chanting and singing these short, silly tales. Many of them even have morals, or at the very least, familiar characters. "Baa Baa Black Sheep" is a simple nursery rhyme that lends itself well to craft, math and language arts activities.
Tell the students that the wool from sheep is usually spun into yarn. Then, let the students make their own black sheep. Pass out a piece of paper with a simple sheep picture. Have the students paint the picture with paintbrushes dipped in white glue. Then, give them pieces of black yarn to lay on the sheep. Show them how to stick the yarn to the sheep in interesting, swirly patterns. Or, have the children glue black pom-poms (little balls of yarn) onto the sheep. A final way to decorate the sheep pictures might be to dip a piece of a sponge into black paint and use that to paint the sheep.
Language Arts Activities
Write the nursery rhyme on the board, or on a large piece of paper. Read it aloud together slowly, then ask the children to identify the rhyming words. Circle or otherwise highlight the words. Then, talk about the "sh" diagraph. Ask the students to brainstorm other words that start with the "sh" sound. Write those words on the board as well. If you've already done an activity with yarn to go along with the nursery rhyme, extend the activity by brainstorming other words that start with "y."
Ask the children how many bags of wool the sheep has in the nursery rhyme. Then, talk about how many the sheep has left after he gives each bag away. Draw a picture on the board as you talk to help the children understand the concept. If the kindergartners are advanced or at the end of the year, you can even write a subtraction sentence for them. Then, pass out three black paper sheep and three white paper sheep to each student. Ask the students to put them in specific patterns, such as black, black, white. You can also use the sheep to form addition and subtraction sentences.
Large Motor Activities
Kindergartners are still developing their large motor skills. Help them practice these skills by adding motions to the nursery rhyme. Make up your own motions, which might include getting down on all fours and "baa"-ing like sheep at the beginning of the rhyme, then nodding the head during the "yes sir" part. You might have the students hold up their fingers to count the bags of wool, or hold their arms out straight as if they are carrying three heavy bags. Or, teach them a short lesson about how sheep tend to follow each other, and then play a rousing game of follow the leader.