Saturday, December 24, 2011

Reasons for Nursery Rhymes

Did you know that scientific research has proven that one of the best indicators of how well children will learn to read is their ability to recite nursery rhymes upon entering their kindergarten year?  Although this is true, fewer and fewer children begin school having heard nursery rhymes, let alone being able to recite them.  As this trend became more and more obvious a few years into my teaching career, I made a scientific based decision to start using nursery rhymes as the basis of my literacy curriculum.  The chosen rhymes became the foundation of everything else I did in the classroom:  my themes and phonological skills, as well as social concepts taught came directly from the nursery rhymes. Both classic and modern nursery rhymes naturally lend themselves to a balanced literacy program, but also to a differentiated instruction and a multidisciplinary approach in teaching.  Teaching with nursery rhymes benefit students who have a wide range of learning styles, abilities and interests.  My kindergarten students are filled with excitement and anticipation when a new rhyme is being introduced.  They know that, along with the many different literacy concepts they will be learning, will come opportunities for hands-on exploration, music and movement activities, science and math extensions, art projects and many other exciting opportunities. 

Did You Know This
Interesting Brain Research?
The only information that people hold in their memory, with word-for-word accuracy, from childhood is songs and rhymes.  Human brains are uniquely wired to learn through music and rhyming with little to no effort because the rhythms of sound have such a profound effect on cognition.  Children are able to develop expressive and fluent oral language, hear and distinguish sounds, and understand concepts about print much earlier than their visual systems are able to track and decode printed words.  Children begin developing the neural pathways and can become confident “readers” at a young age, so it is vital to expose children to well known rhymes and songs as early as possible.  This repeated exposure will accelerate oral language development and naturally build phonemic awareness, all while a child is delighting in the sounds of language and projecting that to the joys of print.  Prolonged rich and varied experiences with oral language are vital for children to reach their potential as readers, writers, speakers, and thinkers.

Knowing that “scientific studies have shown that children who have heard and recited nursery rhymes in their younger years end up being better readers and doing better in school when they get older”, have you recited or read a nursery rhyme with a young child today?
I have additional information AND a nursery rhyme freebie listed on my blog.  Come on over and check it out.  Make sure you follow me at my blog as well so you don't miss my future freebies:

Mrs. Miner's Monkey Business Nursery Rhyme Post


  1. Great post! You sound like an amazing teacher.

    Grade ONEderful

  2. Thank you, Barbara! I felt like an amazing teacher when I was allowed to teach the way I knew was best for children. I have since been required to teach using a basal program and it has been quite a challenge for me, although I am getting better at putting my twist on "their" program.

  3. Krissy. I LUV getting to look over your shoulder. I couldn't agree with you more!!!!

    Do you have the "studies" regarding nursery rhymes + rhymes (and songs) in general being such a benefit to reading? This is something I 'know' in my heart and observe on a daily basis. I'd LUV to have documentation to share on this topic. Perhaps that can be the focus of a post in the future!!! (hint-hint)


  4. What is that awesome glass looking thing one of your students is using to help them read each word letter by letter in the picture above?

  5. Why, Debbie, hint well taken! :) Yes, there are plenty of studies and I will gather and post at some point.
    Kristin, It is one of those flat glass rocks you can get at the Dollar Tree. I think they are usually in floral sections to be used in vases?? Oh, wait, they are "Magical Reading Rocks"! Ha ha! We also use them for detective fun!

  6. Wonderful blog! I think we share a lot in common. I hope you'll visit my blog: Kindergarten for Teachers and Parents:

  7. I am coming to visit, Susan! Thanks for sharing!

  8. Children will interact with each other while learning to share, take turns, and cooperate through play.

    Nursery Reading, MA

  9. Great post! I love the scientific research on nursery rhymes! I always enjoyed using nursery rhymes (and rhymes of all types) in teaching and with my own kids. Reciting and singing nursery rhymes during diaper changes was a favorite activity with my daughter when she was little. I pinned your post to my Educational Songs, Rhymes & Fingerplays Pinterest board at


We would love to hear from you! Please feel free to leave a comment below....

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...