Nursery Rhyme is A Great Teaching Tool for Young Children
Remember ‘Humpty Dumpty’, ‘Baa Baa Black Sheep’, ‘Johnny Johnny’? Well, sounds familiar right? Yes we are talking about rhymes, the ones we all learned way back in nursery. Even today, in the contemporary times of technology and advancement, nursery rhymes still holds a place of importance in early stages of learning. A nursery rhyme is a traditional poem or song, mostly with a rhythmic tune which can be easily grasped by young learners.
Nursery rhymes can also be counted as oral folklores, or oral lores, which is a tradition in many parts of the world. It is used as a form of human communication where knowledge, ideas, culture and heritage are transferred from one generation to the other. It has become a continuous process and still finds its place in today’s world. It may have been noticed by many of us that some rhymes don’t make any sense at all. To a stark contrast, kids don’t think much about the silliness of the rhyme, they rather love to focus on the rhythm, tone and melody.
A nursery teacher is the one who is responsible for boosting a child by facilitating learning and development by the art of storytelling. Rhymes are stories in a rhythmical manner. Here, we must take note that sound is one of the main components and an effective tool in a rhyme. They not only teach speaking and reading skills, but also teach rhythm, word order and grammar. In a rhyme, different, but early sound patterns are emphasized. The child learns new words, word patterns, and rhythmic words.
Most of the nursery rhymes are helpful in teaching the rules of combining sounds into words, rhyming and alliteration. The fact that our language contains words which we do not understand does not limit our ability to enjoy language. Introducing your youngster to that knowledge will enhance his/her curiosity about words and the magic of language.
It has been argued that nursery rhymes set to music aid in a child’s development. Research also supports the assertion that music and rhyme increase a child’s ability in spatial reasoning, which is the ability to mentally interpret 2D, 3D and 4D features and also aid in mathematical skills. Nursery rhymes introduce children to the idea of a narrative structure, promote social skills, boost language development and lay the foundation for learning to read and spell. It is the duty of the nursery teacher to use her teaching skills to the extent so that she is able to inculcate all these into the young minds to bring out the best in them.
Let us have a look at what other advantages do nursery rhymes have so that it can be used as an effective tool of teaching:
• Nursery rhymes are easy to repeat and so these help a child to learn to speak and express themselves in full sentences. This is a skill that they need to develop even before they learn to read and write.
• Rhymes improve a child’s vocabulary and increase their stock of words. Children love to use newly learnt words in their sentences and in the process new words are imprinted in young minds.
• Nursery rhymes give children the scope to learn about proper voice pitch, volume and language rhythm. They get to learn new language variations.
• Rhymes are an effective tool to teach phonic skills to children, which is the ability of the child to hear, identify and manipulate the letter sounds.
• Rhymes are a great way to teach literary features to the young minds. Be it onomatopoeia, alliteration, or a rhyme, teaching can get fun!
• Rhymes engage children and their curious minds among the rhythms and literary features, something which the stories are unable to do sometimes!
• It is pure fun! Nonsensical verses and abrupt, unexpected endings are enjoyed by children. These will make the child realise that learning is not always boring. It’s fun too.
• Nursery rhymes will also help the children to learn about the past. Some rhymes are passed down generation after generation.
Young learners have a curious mind and learning rhymes can quench their eagerness to some bit. It helps the child to relate to a lot of things and in creating a world of their own. Children who can recite rhymes properly on a day to day basis develop sharper memory than their peers. A nursery teacher who is creative and flexible in child development has a long and lasting impression on her students. This really is a matter of concern as the stepping stones of the young minds into the world of knowledge can become mayhem for the parents alone.