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Nursery Rhymes- Charts and Tools

skills you can teach with nursery rhymes

Do you use nursery rhymes for reading?  I bet a lot of you do.  There are sooo many ways to use them and so many things you can do with nursery rhymes.

finding blends and digraphs in nursery rhymes

I like to use the full size charts with my small groups.  We use this for shared reading and then to do some work.  Here we have highlighted some blends (wh & th) with Post It note flags.  

using nursery rhymes to teach phonemic awareness

On this chart the student found sight words that he was working on or reviewing.  We used a different color for each set of sight words.  We talk about how the word is still the same word whether it begins with a capital (The) or with a lower case letter (the).  

Post It flags and highlighter tape can get expensive.  I reuse mine.  After using them on my charts, I pull them off and stick them to the top of my easel to use again.  With seeing different reading groups all day long, I would go through a lot of flags and tape if I didn't do this!

These are just a few of the tools you could use with the nursery rhyme charts.  The flags and tape are wonderful!!  I also like to use a variety of different pointers.  I use them to point to words to show one to one matching of words, print concepts of moving across the page left to right, and return sweep.  Then of course when students get to come up to read, they want to use a pointer too!

I included marker boards and dry erase markers because after we talk about the skill, I want the students to practice that.  So if we are finding sight words they write the sight word or if we are finding individual letters, they write those.  I am blessed to have marker tables for my groups so we just write on the table!

You can also take the nursery rhyme, type it up smaller and have them glue it in their reading journal.  The students can then do the same skill  that you practiced on the the big chart on their own charts.  

using nursery rhymes to build fluency

skills to teach using nursery rhymes

This is just a small sample of ideas you can teach using nursery rhymes.  Of course, as soon as I type it, I thought of more!  Like rebuilding the poem in a pocket chart!  We LOVE to do that!  

How are you using nursery rhymes?  I would love to hear about it!  

These activities can be found at my TpT store to help you build phonemic awareness with your students.  They include assessments too!  These are just two of them, there are more if you look around.  :)

assessments included

isolate the phoneme and identify the common phoneme


  1. I haven't used nursery rhymes, but I can see the reasons why they're useful. They're great for whole-part-whole teaching for sure.

    ❀ Tammy
    Forever in First

  2. I used poems and nursery rhymes to teach so many different skills. Thanks for sharing your ideas!
    Connie Anderson
    Welcome To First Grade Room 5

  3. Hiya Lori! Yup - I do use nursery rhymes quite a bit. Usually it's a center where they have to find the missing word after looking at a reference chart. I've wish listed your phonemic awareness set - it looks perfect! It would be cool to have a lot of activities for the same nursery rhyme each week. :-)
    I don't know when you go back to school, but I hope it's not any time soon!
    Whimsy Workshop

  4. I do some nursery rhymes as reader's theaters to build fluency, but I hadn't thought of rebuilding them in pocket charts- that's a fabulous idea. Thanks, Lori!

    Everyone deServes to Learn

  5. Thanks Lori for reminding me of all the great things we can do with nursery rhymes to help our students stay engaged with reading. I have been doing more poems than nursery rhymes so I am going to have to add these into my classroom this year!

    Thank you so much for your super helpful list of tools and things we can work on while reading nursery rhymes!

    Learning to the Core

  6. Tammy, I think nursery rhymes or other poems both work great for the things I have listed. And kids love to play around with the language of both!

  7. Connie, nursery rhymes and poems are so great for so many skills. Thank you for coming by to visit!

  8. Thanks so much, Susanna, for wish listing my phonemic awareness set! I like your idea of having students find a missing word from poems. A good one to add to what we do!

  9. I agree, Maria, nursery rhymes and poems do lend themselves to fluency activities!

  10. Thank you, Amanda!! Short poems or nursery rhymes either one are great for teaching so many different skills. And kids just love them!

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