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We need to keep old rhymes alive

Nursery rhymes are becoming less common in this century, and chances are your average six year old would find it easier filming a video for YouTube than reciting the Grand Old Duke of York. That’s why, if you’re a teacher, parent or guardian, you should defiantly think about teaching your children or group of children nursery rhymes. Learning these seemingly simple rhymes has many benefits:

Speech and language development - While little ones may not have much interest in the poetry of WB Yates or Robert Burns, simple rhymes like this are a great introduction into the topic of poetry and how verses and rhymes are constructed. They are excellent to teach language development and you can get the kids playing instruments to help with musical development.

History - There’s no doubt about it, nursery rhymes can be gruesome, but fortunately most children are hardier than adults think and love a touch of the macabre. These rhymes create talking points so you can introduce a little historical study into your class while it seems like the kids are just having fun. Ring a Ring o' Roses is about the plague, Three Blind Mice is about Mary, Queen of Scots and Pop Goes the Weasel is about poverty in England. While these may seem heavy topics and you may not want to go into them in detail depending upon the age group, you can use them for historical context to teach a little about those time periods.

Group participation - Learning nursery rhymes can get your class or group of children working together like they never have before. It may be a good idea to split the kids into a group and assign a verse to each group, who will learn it off by heart, study the historical context and decide what the correct rhythm is to recite the rhyme. Get all the children together when they’re done for a massive group performance, and even invite parents and carers along to see how well their little ones are doing.

If you’re looking to get your class of children together to chant some nursery rhymes, you may need some new school desks. A good seating plan will promote inclusion and working together. Here at Edu-quip we supply school furniture to schools, nurseries, universities and academies. Our children’s school chairs conform to the latest legislation and are designed for heavy traffic teaching spaces, so we will leave you to decide if you will teach your class Jack and Jill or Baa Baa Black Sheep.

Posted by: Josh Seddon

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