Nursery rhymes are fun, especially nonsense nursery rhymes like Hey Diddle, Diddle.
Benefits of Nursery Rhymes
But nursery rhymes are not just fun. They are often a child’s first introduction to our literary heritage and have many benefits for young children.
- They help children learn the sounds and rhythms of the language.
- They are short and easy to remember so help to develop memory.
- They introduce children to rhyme and alliteration and help to develop phonemic awareness which is important to the development of skills in reading and writing.
- They encourage a joy in language and inspire a playfulness that contributes to further language learning.
Australian author Mem Fox is often quoted as saying that
“Experts in literacy and child development have discovered that if children know eight nursery rhymes by heart by the time they’re four years old, they’re usually among the best readers by the time they’re eight.”
We know that success with literacy learning often correlates with success later in life. Most early childhood teachers agree that children who have been spoken to, sung to (including nursery rhymes) and read to before school find literacy learning much easier in our classrooms. However, the value of nursery rhymes doesn’t end when children begin school. They can be the focus of learning throughout school.
World Nursery Rhyme Week
If you are not already aware of it, you may wish to check out World Nursery Rhyme Week that begins next week on 16 November and continues until 20 November. The purpose of World Nursery Rhyme Week is to promote the importance of nursery rhymes in early education. Follow the link to find lots of free resources to join in the worldwide celebration of nursery rhymes.
Learning with Hey Diddle, Diddle
Let’s begin with ten lesson ideas based upon the nonsense nursery rhyme Hey Diddle Diddle. I’m sure you are familiar with the rhyme.
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