What rhymes with fun?

6 Jan

While I frequently use books with rhyming text (or “stories in rhyme” as the library’s catalog calls them) in storytime, this is the first year I’ve created a whole storytime theme devoted to rhymes.  Why, you may ask? Or maybe you won’t ask.  But I’m gonna tell you: 1)reciting rhymes, and reading rhyming stories, reinforces a child’s phonological awareness: the ability to hear and play with the smaller sounds making up a word; 2)there are some REALLY AWESOME new (and not-so-new) rhyming books out there!  So here’s the plan:

  • Feldman, Eve. Billy and Milly, Short and Silly .
  • Ziefert, Harriet. A Bunny is Funny.
    • I start with either one of these to introduce the idea of rhymes (which many of them already know about, but still have some trouble figuring out.  For example, I was told that “cat” rhymes with “meow”).  I let the kids fill in many of the rhyming words, and run my finger under some of them as I read them.  In Billy and Milly, especially, we talk about what is happening in the pictures as there’s so little exposition other than the rhyming words.
  • Beamont, Karen.  Who At All the Cookie Dough?. What a great story, with a great refrain for the kids to repeat!  And they NEVER, EVER guess the surprise at the end (but a teacher did — Hi, Ms. Sue)!  I made this one into a flannelboard, too, but I haven’t had a chance to use it yet.

    Cat Hat!

  • Flannelboard break! I don’t remember where I found this poem, but it works great as a flannelboard.  We repeat the rhymes at the end for reinforcement:

Oh me, oh my, what will I do?

I can’t find a kangaroo

to put on my shoe.

But I know quite well, and so do you,

I don’t need a kangaroo to put on my shoe!

Repeat, with: fox/socks; cat/hat; bear/hair; crocodile/smile and anything else you can think of!

  • Dewdney,  Anna. Llama Llama, Mad at Mama. Oh, if only I had ears with which I could express my displeasure.  I mean I have ears, but I can use them like llama does.  The faces little llama makes, especially the one where he’s feeling contrite about his tantrum, are delightful!  Every preschooler (and many adults) can relate to his feelings.
  • Anderson, Peggy Perry. Chuck’s Truck. I like this because it’s an unconventional rhyming book — all the rhyming words aren’t at the end of phrases, but scattered througout.  Plus, there’s a green cat.
  • And now, the big finish: Thomas, Jan. Rhyming Dust Bunnies.  I asked the kids if they had any dust bunnies in their houses, and of course they said no (“I have a cat”).  I told them to ask their parents — that they probably did.  They continued to insist that no, they didn’t have dust bunnies. At one time I had a little dust bunny (from under my bed) in a little baggie to show the kids.  But it escaped. What better way to teach about rhyming than with little fluffy creatures who delight in finding rhymes?  The kids and I try to find our own with Ed, Ned, Ted and Bob, and crack up when Bob tries to warn the others about the broom of doom that’s closing in.  (Broom of doom.  Heh! I rhymed!)

Other book options I might use:

  • Ward, Jennifer.  Way Up in the Arctic. I use the similar garden book for my bugs/flowers storytime, and this one is no less enjoyable.  Songs also encourage phonological skills, so I sing this story and have the kids fill in the numbers.
  • Shields, Carol DiggoryWombat Walkabout.  The kids help with the numbers here, too, and learn a bit about Australian animals!

What are your favorite rhyming books/songs/flannelboards?

Rhyme on!

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