We recently did the nursery rhyme Three Little Kittens. Perfect, right? It's cold, the children wear mittens and are always losing their mittens and getting their moms all frantic, so they can really relate. There are so many skills and concepts found hidden in this rhyme:
- My favorite is using intonnation when you read and really "reading" the punctuation that is there. The kids get how upset the kittens will be to tell mama cat that they've lost their mittens, so how will they say it? They also get how upset mama will be when she knows they've lost their mittens. How will she respond? Try reading it without any expression and see how they react. This is how they begin to learn about intonnation in their own reading and how it can change the whole meaning of a story or change the excitement of the audience anyway.
- I always introduce the concept of mystery through this rhyme. Where did those mittens go anyway? Some of the ideas that these childdren have will simply amaze you. It generates amazing writing and excitement.
- Math: I always coincide this with skip counting by twos. Mittens do come in pairs, right?? And, of course those silly kittens lost both mittens to help us find pairs.
- Phonics and reading skills: rhyming, of course! Finding words we know in words we don't (example it is found in little and mittens and kittens). But, also, there are copious amounts of chunks to be found and located in this rhyme as evidence shows below (I have my students "butter" the chunks and words we know in the poems with "sticks of butter" a.k.a highlighters--keep it fun, people!). When children see all they know in excerpts they are going to read, it makes them realize, "Wow, I really can read this!":
Check out the amazing art that is generated from this personalized rhyme where the student becomes the angry person who the kittens reveal that they've lost their mittens to.
Please hop on over to my blog if you are interested in getting a 3 Little Kitten packet to use with your students!