Activity Plan 3-4: Dreamy Rhymes
It Followed Me to School One Day...
- Grades: PreK–K
- "Mary Had a Little Lamb" in book form, such as illustrator Tomie dePaola's version (Putnam, 2004; $7.99)
- chart paper
- crayons and markers, including fine-line markers
- white drawing paper
- soft toy lamb or lamb puppet (optional)
- language and literacy
- awareness of self and others
- creative thinking
Write the words to "Mary Had a Little Lamb" on a large sheet of chart paper. You may need to use more than one sheet to complete the main verse.
Display the words to "Mary Had a Little Lamb" in your meeting area and teach them to the children. Invite those children who already know the rhyme to recite it with you. Reread it for a few days so everyone can become familiar with the verses.
Read aloud the different book versions of "Mary Had a Little Lamb" you've collected. Remember to familiarize children with such words as title, author, and illustrator. After reading the story, ask them to share the part they enjoyed most. Is the book version of the nursery rhyme the same as the rhyme they have been reciting? How are they alike? How do they differ?
Reread the story again the following day. Ask children to close their eyes and imagine that an animal followed them to school. What animal do they wish would follow them? Would it be a little animal or a big animal? What color would it be? What would their animal do once it came to school?
Now invite small groups to draw pictures about their animals. When they are finished, help them dictate stories about their pictures using a similar pattern to the nursery rhyme, substituting their own names for Mary (for example: "Justin had a big horse that followed him to school one day. Its coat was brown like cocoa"). Ask children to share their work during group time. Use the drawings to create a bulletin-board display, or bind the pages together to make a book.
Remember: Giving children props such as a stuffed animal or a puppet to take turns holding helps to engage them and to enhance the rhyme. Placing storybook props in the pretend area may encourage children to dramatize the story during their imaginative play.
Favorite Family Nursery Rhymes Send home a note requesting that family members teach their child a favorite nursery rhyme from their childhood. Ask that they send in the words of the rhyme so that you can compile a book of family rhymes and poems to teach the class throughout the school year.
Curriculum Connection: DRAMATIC PLAY
Provide opportunities for the class to dramatize the story. Give them props, such as clothing, puppets, or stuffed animals, to use to retell the tale. Once they learn the rhyme, assign roles and ask children to act out the different scenes as you read the story.