Land of Nursery Rhymes
Mother Goose Day is May 1 but don't wait till then to teach nursery rhymes! Kids love nursery rhymes. They teach rhyming and important listening skills for reading. There is a lot out there already on using rhymes so this page is devoted to some simple and fun activities.
Art: Make a nursery rhyme keepsake book. I introduce one rhyme a week and make the character's page as the final activity so the book takes awhile to assemble but is well worthwhile. Remember to include the rhyme at the top of the page. Humpty Dumpty is a yellow oval traced on a little square that the kids cut out and glue to the center of a piece of paper. They glue wiggly eyes and draw a face and arms on him. Then they draw a brick wall under him.
Snack: This is a good time to eat hard boiled eggs. You can draw faces on them with a crayon and dye them first. Then the kids can have fun cracking the shells before they eat them.
Game: Play the Humpty Dumpty race. Give each child a puzzle and race to see who is the first to complete theirs!
Math: Draw a large grid of bricks on one piece of paper that the kids will be cutting out. On a separate piece of paper draw two or three versions of Humpty (remember -he's just an egg and easy to draw). On top of each Humpty program with a number. The students then have to create a brick wall under Humpty with that number of bricks! Objective: Students will be able to count a set up to teen numbers.
Hickory Dickory Dock
Art: Make the next page of your keepsake book. Give the kids a yellow rectangle and a white circle. Have them draw a clock face on the circle and glue them on appropriately to the center of a piece of paper. Then they draw a tear shaped mouse climbing up the side of the clock. Color the mouse brown and add a wiggly eye, yarn tail and a teeny tiny pom pom nose.
Snack: Eat a bagel with cream cheese and give the kids raisins to put on it to make a clock face.
Math Game: Using Judy clocks, have each child pretend to be a mouse. Call out a time and the first mousie to set his clock to the right time wins. Objective: Students will be able to tell time.
Jack Be Nimble
Art: Make the next page of the kid's keepsake book. We discuss how rhymes have been around a very long time. When we are done making the book I really emphasize how they are to take care of these books and keep them in a secure place. I tell the students that some day they may want to share the rhyme book with their grandchildren. For the "Jack Be Nimble" page the kids simply glue a skinny yellow rectangle and orange triangle for the candle and flame. Then they draw a cup shape with a "c" shaped handle and color it blue.
Snack: String cheese and a piece of Halloween corn candy make a delicious candle to munch on.
Math Game: Students take turns at a running jump and then measure to see who jumped the furthest. Objective: Students will be able to measure.
Mary Had a Little Lamb
Art: Students glue two cotton balls on to the center of their page. If you want you can draw an outline of a lamb on the paper but it isn't necessary. Have them first fluff out their cotton before they glue it on. Then they glue on construction paper eyes and a construction paper mouth on to the cotton. My aide pre-makes these. It's a little funny looking but cute. Then have the kids decorate the background with a sun in the sky. Give them a green paper rectangle which they cut fringe on and that becomes the grass. They glue that under the lamb.
Snack: Eat cotton candy.
Game: Have a race in which students have to reach the end line with a cotton ball on their head.
Math: Make a cotton ball ruler by gluing cotton balls on a piece of cardboard and have students measure how many cotton balls long is their pencil, desk, book, etc. You don't have to make the ruler but this is a good opportunity to reinforce that a ruler has 12 inches-make that 12 cotton balls! As an alternative the kids can simply measure with cotton balls but they may fly around. Objective: Students will be able to measure.
Little Miss Muffet
Art: Students glue a large circle to their paper. Then they glue on eight legs that they fold accordion style. You can either glue on wiggly eyes for a cute look or have the children draw many eyes on.
Snack: Ritz type crackers spread with peanut butter and skinny prtezel legs make yummy spiders.
Game: Role play the rhyme. This is a lot of fun. The kids take turns being Miss Muffet pretending to eat her whey and another child pretends to sneak up behind her as the spider. Students are encouraged to scream a really good "eeek".
Math: Give students 8 pretzel sticks to use as manipulatives for counting. Practice with numbers four and six first. Discuss how we can show the number six as one row, or two rows of three, or three rows of two. We can even arrange six in a square. Can we use six to make a triangle? Two triangles? Then have the students explore the number eight with their pretzel sticks. Objective: Students will be able to identify shapes and count sets.