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Activity Plan: Nursery Rhyme Theatre

By Risa Young

An activity that combines drama with nursery rhymes



Ready-To-Use Teaching Ideas: Dramatic Play


  • favorite nursery rhyme book, such as Read-Aloud Rhymes for the Very Young by Jack Prelutski and Tortillas Para Mama and Other Nursery Rhymes by Barbara Cooney
  • chart paper
  • marker
  • variety of paper
  • child safety scissors
  • markers and crayons
  • glue sticks and tape
  • props including stuffed animals, puppets, dolls, dress-up clothes, dramatic-play toys, and fabric.
  • Objective: Children will dramatize nursery rhymes to develop language, literacy, creative-thinking, and social skills.

Objectives: Children will dramatize nursery rhymes to develop language, literacy, creative-thinking, and social skills.


  1. Read several rhymes from a favorite classroom nursery rhyme book. Ask the children to name their favorite nursery rhymes. Record their answers on a sheet of chart paper.
  2. Choose four or five nursery rhymes to dramatize. Write the words to each rhyme on separate sheets of chart paper. Read the rhymes aloud with children during group time.
  3. Work with children in small groups to prepare their nursery rhyme. Provide each group with one or two days to plan and practice for their performance.
  4. Encourage children to find areas in the classroom to perform their nursery rhyme. Can they use the block area to build their setting? Perhaps the dramatic-play area would be a better setting. Will they use puppets, stuffed animals, or dolls to retell their rhymes? Provide children with the suggested art materials to create additional props or costumes that they may need.
  5. Provide time each day for children to perform their nursery rhymes. Plan a day to invite families or other classrooms to watch a special performance of their nursery rhymes.

Curriculum Connection: LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT

Finding the Rhyming Words. Reread the nursery rhymes that had been written on chart paper. Ask children to identify the words that rhyme. Circle the rhyming words. On another sheet of chart paper, make a list of rhyming words. Now, invite the children to think of other words that rhyme with the listed words and record their responses.


And the Dish Ran Away With the Spoon by Janet Stevens
Humpty Dumpty and Other Nursery Rhymes by Lucy Cousins
The Seals on the Bus by Lenny Hort

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