Nursery Rhyme Lesson Plans for Kindergarten plus a free file!
Teaching nursery rhymes is a great way to start your kindergarten year! For some students, this might be there first introduction into nursery rhymes.
*affiliate links are included in this post, but the opinions are my own.
Why teach nursery rhymes?
It helps students develop an ear for language. It helps with oral language… at it is fun!
Poetry is the first genre that most children hear. Poetry isn’t just whimsical but contributes to increasing reading abilities. Lower primary teachers use nursery rhymes to develop phonemic awareness and one-to-one correspondence, and poetry helps children of all ages develop vocabulary. Reading poetry aloud over and over creates fluency with expression. Manning, M. (2003). A poetic awakening. Teaching PreK-8, 33(5), 85-87.
Books for your nursery rhyme unit of study
I have rounded up some fun ones!
This first one is Moo, Moo, Brown Cow by Phillis Gershator. This nursery rhyme book appears to be out of print, but you can still get some great deals on used books.
It follows the cadence of Baa, Baa, Black Sheep, but the boy visits various animals on the farm. He asks them for things such as down. (Great opportunity to learn some new vocabulary!)
Then the following page shows how we use those items.
This book is laugh-out-loud funny! Once upon a time, the End by Geoffrey Kloske is a bedtime story.
That never seems to end. The boy wants his father to read ONE. MORE. STORY!
So the father shortens the stories in hilarious ways. There are familiar stories and nursery rhymes in this book. The Old Lady’s Shoe is everything! Ha!
After the dish and spoon take off, the cat, dog, and cow get worried and try to find them.
Throughout the book, they encounter other nursery rhyme characters, such as the spider from Little Miss Muffet.
Here a few more that are excellent:
- Pio Peep! by Alma Flor Ada This book is a collection of traditional Spanish Poems that are presented in Spanish and in English
- The Completed Hickory Dickory Dock by Jim Aylesworth This book is a continuation of the familiar nursery rhyme, but with other animals. It is a fun way to work on phonemic awareness.
Nursery Rhymes for Shared Reading
Nursery rhymes are perfect for shared reading. Students can read or sing along!
In this poem, students were looking for the letter “Hh”. Then we just used a cut-up transparent poly-plastic folder to highlight those letters (way easier to manage than highlighting tape.) On another day, you might look for sight words (or words that you know). You could also look for the rhyming words, capital letters, spaces between the words, or punctuation. Think about all of those fantastic concepts about print you can work into this FUN activity.
While your student helper is placing the highlighting card in the pocket chart, you will want your other students doing the same in their poetry notebooks. Note the QR code on the notebook. This version of the poetry notebook is from my Nursery Rhymes Poetry Music and Video File. Then students can listen to the video and sing along at home or in a choice center.
We also have students work on a letter sort (students also have a print copy to follow along.)
Students also have an emergent reader to go with the nursery rhyme.
Here are the links to the shared reading items shown above:
- Poetry: Nursery Rhyme Poems Set 1
- Poetry: Nursery Rhyme Poems Set 2
- Poetry Music and VIDEOS Nursery Rhymes (These are the files that have the QR codes on them.)
Nursery Rhymes with handwriting practice
One of the very first thing I made for my classroom were these Read, Trace, Glue, and Draw files.
Nursery Rhyme Math and Literacy Centers
Students can browse for the poem they want to listen to
Then, using a device, they can scan the code and listen to the song…SIMPLE. You may be thinking… WAIT! I don’t have devices in my room! You can try this… send home a note to parents to see if they have any old smart-phones. They don’t need a SIM card, they just need to be able to connect to the internet and have a QR reader app installed on it
I also have some nursery rhyme themed math and literacy center activities.
I like to bind my black-line masters by unit so I stay a little be organized. #goals
You can find these units by clicking: Nursery Rhyme Literacy and Math Stations for Back to School
I sure hope I gave you a few ideas for teaching nursery rhymes in kindergarten!
You can read more about my poetry units in these blog post below:
I recently update this free file. You can download your own copy by entering your name in the box below.