One of my most frequented blogs is when I wrote about Nursery Rhymes. https://kindergartenteacherclaire.wordpress.com/2009/07/30/lifelong-benefits-from-learning-nursery-rhymes-and-poetry-at-a-young-age/The research could not be more clear that young children who have the ability to not only hear rhymes, but to create rhymes as well, make a smoother transition into the reading process than those children who cannot rhyme. This is when having the knowledge of word families comes in. A word family is made up of all of words that have the same ending. We are all familiar with the at word family: bat, cat, fat, hat, mat, pat, rat, sat, vat but are you aware of all of the other word families? Here is a site that lists many of the word families that an early reader will encounter.
- Scroll down to the word family that you want your child to practice
- Click on the blue writing to open up a list of words in that word family
- Click on the printer friendly 3 X 5 index cards that you can print out for your child to practice at home.
Introduce one word family at a time. Your child needs to understand that all of the words in the same word family ALL end with the same sound and rhyme with each other. Once your child is able to comprehend this, then move on to another word family.
Here is another site with free downloadable books written by Michelle Hubbard for many word families:
Both sites offer numerous resources for your child to practice word families and get a jump start on reading in first grade.
I have just finished assessing my Kindergarten students in all Reading Readiness skills and I am happy to report that there has been major progress since the start of the school year. One area of importance that I cannot stress enough RHYMING!! If your child is able to rhyme, keep reading poetry, rhyming books and playing rhyming games with your child, however…. If your child is not able to be successful with rhyming, learning to read is going to be difficult and it is time to pick up the pace with rhyming activities at home. I have written about rhyming 3 other times in my blog so you can only begin to imagine how important I feel that mastering this skill BEFORE first grade really is. Parents you know if your child can or cannot rhyme, there is no middle of the road, either he/she can, or he/she can’t. Please check out these blogs of mine that contain valuable websites with (free!) downloadable materials for you to continue practicing rhyming with your soon to be first grader.
I first wrote about the value of Nursery Rhymes last summer in my July 30, 2009 blog. https://kindergartenteacherclaire.wordpress.com/2009/07/30/lifelong-benefits-from-learning-nursery-rhymes-and-poetry-at-a-young-age/
I would like to revisit Nursery Rhymes once again now that the children have been in Kindergarten for 7 months. Not only can children memorize these rhymes, they can identify the rhyming words, find sight words, find words that we don’t use in our language anymore, or make up a new verse to add to the first verse. For one activity all you need is a highlighter marker. Young children feel very grown up when they are allowed to use a highlighter. Read the Nursery Rhyme together with your child and then ask your child to find two words that rhyme and highlight them. Ask your child to find other rhyming words and highlight them as well. Now your child can go through the rhyme and find any sight words that he/she knows how to read. When you are finished the rhyme should have many words that have been marked with the highlighter. Your child will feel very grown up doing this activity and you will get a better understanding of whether or not your child understands the concept of rhyming and if he/she is learning any of the sight words that have been taught at school.
Nursery Rhymes are disappearing from the language of our young children. What a tragic loss this is. More and more children are arriving in Kindergarten without any knowledge of Nursery Rhymes. Research has shown that children who struggle with rhymes will more than likely later struggle with reading.
Here is a list of Nursery Rhymes that you and your child may enjoy together
Here is a site where you can print (for free) simple nursery rhyme booklets for your child to enjoy and color
There are many benefits to learning nursery rhymes and preschool songs:
1. Nursery rhymes, poems and songs will provide your children with opportunities to develop an appreciation for rhyme and rhythm.
2. The development of auditory skills comes from listening to poems, songs and rhymes and LISTENING is an important skill to develop.
3. Poems and verses use words to paint mental pictures and help to expand their imagination.
4. While you read, sing, play and act out nursery rhymes together you are conveying to your children that sounds make words and that words are fun and you are creating a sense of humor.
5. Rhymes and Fingerplays help children to develop fine motor skills and coordination.
Invest in your child’s future and purchase a nursery rhyme book that the entire family will love. Your child will enjoy hearing the rhymes over and over until he/she knows them by heart.