Activity Plan Mixed Ages: Time to Rhyme!
Foster children's creativity with this animal rhyming activity
- Grades: PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5
- books that focus on rhymes about animal characters, including Hey Diddle, Diddle by James Marshall (Farrar, Straus, and Ciroux, 2003; $5.95) and Pussycm, Pussycat and Other Rhymes by lona Opie and Rosemary Wells (Candlewick Press, 2001; $4.99)
- chart paper
- fine- and broad-tip markers
- animal stickers or rubber stamps
- fine motor
- creative thinking
Choose a few nursery rhymes or poems that feature animals. Write the words to the poems or rhymes on sheets of chart paper, leaving room for children to decorate.
Read the rhymes with the group. Divide children into small groups and invite each group to decorate the borders around each rhyme. Encourage children to draw pictures that depict the rhyme. Younger children can use stickers or rubber stamps.
Provide opportunities to recite the rhyme. You can do this while they're waiting in line, playing musical instruments, during snack time, or at other times during the day so that children can memorize the words. As you recite the rhymes, leave off one of the ending words and encourage children to complete the rhyme. Extend the rhymes to other areas of the classroom including
- art-invite children to illustrate their favorite animal poem or rhyme
- language-ask children to create or extend a story about the featured animal
- science-ask children to compare different animals to learn differences and similarities
- blocks-suggest that children create dwellings for animals
- reading-introduce children to informational books to learn facts about animals featured in fictional stories
Remember: Some favorite nursery rhymes, like "Three Blind Mice" or "Ding, Dong Bell," may contain violent images. Review rhymes to determine their appropriateness, or to change the words.
Family Rhymes. Place a group of simple rhyming word families like that, cat, sat, hat, and rat or dog, hog, log, fog, and jog into reclosable plastic bags. Send home the rhyming word bags along with a note requesting that families work with children to use the words to create a rhyme. Invite children to share their poems. Compile poems to send home and share with families.
Curriculum Connection: DRAMATIC PLAY
Nursery rhyme theater. Invite children to dramatize their favorite nursery rhymes or poems. Children can retell the rhyme in small groups or dramatize it as others narrate the story. Provide children with props to enhance their dramatic play.