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Lesson Plan

Growing Readers and Writers with Help from Mother Goose

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Growing Readers and Writers with Help from Mother Goose

Grade K
Lesson Plan Type Recurring Lesson
Estimated Time 5-10 minutes per session
Lesson Author

Devon Hamner

Devon Hamner

Grand Island, Nebraska


National Council of Teachers of English



From Theory to Practice



This lesson provides a series of literacy activities based on the familiar words and characters of nursery rhymes that can be used regularly to help children grow as readers and writers. Activities include reciting nursery rhymes to gain oral fluency, then adding a written chart so students can follow along with the written words as they say the rhymes. Students can highlight the initial sounds in characters' names and add them to a word wall, letting them serve as hooks to help children remember the letters and their sounds and use that knowledge in their writing. The familiar rhyming patterns can also be used to help students identify familiar chunks of words that can be used to create "chunking charts" that students can use in their own writing. Students can also play and explore at nursery rhyme Websites.

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Many parents and teachers of young children use the nursery rhymes to introduce children to rhythm and rhyme. The nursery rhyme characters become old and familiar friends. Why not help children use their love and knowledge of the nursery rhymes to grow as readers and writers? In Month-By-Month Reading and Writing for Kindergarten, Dorothy Hall and Patricia Cunningham share these benefits of using rhymes: "Rhyming activities develop one of the most critical concepts for success in beginning reading-phonemic awareness." (24)

The purpose of this lesson is to use those familiar nursery rhymes to enhance the learning of all of these skills and to have fun too!

Further Reading

Hall, Dorothy P. and Patricia M. Cunningham. 1997. Month-By-Month Reading and Writing for Kindergarten: Systematic, Multilevel Instruction. Greensboro, NC: Carson-Dellosa Publishing.


Kucer, Stephen B. 2008. What Research Really Says about Teaching and Learning to Read. Urbana, IL: NCTE.

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