Throughout my 36-year career in Early Childhood Education, I have often observed that young children have difficulty learning to read when they do not understand how to track print and when they don't have a firm understanding of the concepts of letters, words, and sentences. I spent a great deal of time trying to locate materials that taught the skill of tracking print, but was not able to find any, so I created my own materials using the genre of Nursery Rhymes. I created reading pages and matching games. I found this format to be beneficial for many reasons:
- The children enjoy reading Nursery Rhymes and Songs.
- They are naturally drawn to this genre, and this familiarity helps the children to begin noticing sight words in the printed version and the game version of the songs and rhymes.
- Nightly reading with families will help reinforce the concepts being taught in class.
- Children will begin to make print connections between what they say, what they sing and what they read. This helps them to learn to track print. This learning carries over into formal reading lessons.
- By slowing down the speed of saying the rhyme, the children begin to understand the concept of word. They begin to look for words that begin with given sounds. They begin to realize that each time they point to the word that is spelled t-h-e, they are reading the word /the/.
- Auditory, Oral, and Visual Language Skills are reinforced.
- Repetition is important for solid learning. The children will be repeating the same process in school and at home. They will reinforce their reading skills when they encounter the same rhyme in the game format, and will learn individual words as they match word cards to the words on the rhyme card.
- Students will find success in reading, because they are reading a familiar song or rhyme.
- Phonological skills are taught naturally while reading the rhymes and playing the games.
- Children naturally notice that rhyming words are usually spelled the same.
This format helps in the development of many skills:
Fluency and Oral Language
Identifying rhyming words
Identifying beginning, middle or ending sounds
Identifying sight words
Understanding concepts of print, including capitalization, punctuation, tracking print from left to right and top to bottom
Identifying letters, words and sentences
Developing vocabulary within the context of the rhyme
Developing the concepts of character, setting, cause/effect, sequence and prediction
The following Common Core Standards may be addressed when using these activities:
RF.K.1, RF.K.2, RF.K.3, RF.K.4, RL.K.1, RL.K.2, RL.K.3, RL.K.4, RL.K.5, RL.K.6, RL.K.7, RL.K.9, RL.K.10
First Grade Standards:
RF.1.1, RF.1.2, RF.1.3, RF.1.4, RL.1.1, RL.1.2, RL.1.3, RL.1.4, RL.1.5, RL.1.6, RL.1.7, RL.1.9, RL.1.10
These nursery rhyme reading pages and game kits are available individually, in groups of 5, or as a complete unit of 35 rhymes. Please note that the smaller units include the rhyme and the game, whereas the set of 35 is divided into a group of rhymes and a group of games.
all materials and artwork are ©Sandy Warrick, 2012