Teaching songs and rhymes to pre-primers is a part of early childhood teaching and learning. Songs and rhymes make lessons interesting and fun for pre-primers. Teachers sing various rhymes and songs, read them, do finger-plays, act them out and teach pre-primers different areas of learning.
Why are songs and rhymes important?
- … to capture inspiring young minds and engage them with vocabulary and language skills.
- …for contributing to a child’s spatial development when used with music and movement.
- …to make lessons fun, entertaining and soothing.
- …to develop reading and social skills.
- …for social and emotional development.
- …for physical development (muscle skills, balance and co-ordination).
What are the three stages for teaching songs and rhymes to pre-primers?
1. Pre-activity or warm up
- To introduce a new song, find the time when the children are joyful and relaxed.
- First, choose a song you want to introduce.
- Then, make a plan for its presentation with suitable pictures, posters and story books.
- Also talk about the picture or the previous song or tell a story about the song to make them ready for listening to its lyrics and tune.
2. Listening and singing
- Listening comes before singing or speaking. So, let the children listen to the song.
- You can play the song from a CD or DVD or sing it to them.
- It is good to introduce the audio form first, and then its video.
- Don’t ask the children to sing along the lines when the children listen to the song for the first time. Yet, they can if they want to.
- Encourage them to remember the lyrics and the tune. So play the same song over and over.
- For the lyrics – let them repeat the lyrics after you.
- For the tune – let them listen to the song again and again or teach them humming.
- Start at the beginning and help them learn it chunk by chunk. Dance around and be silly while you learn. Keep it fun. Use a cartoon character or puppet as well.
- Let them sing with you or repeat after the CD.
- After the children are able to sing, then introduce some hand motions (actions) or dance.
- Add instruments – bells, rattles, shakers, tambourines, rain sticks or a pipe whistle, guitar, etc.
- Get your child rocking, marching, rolling, tapping, clapping, and moving to the beat.
- Let them sing in groups or individually with some actions.
- Tell the children to sing the song to their parents.
- Moreover, teach them to speed up the tune (fast, slow) for the practice of speech organs.
- Change the lyrics for fun, creativity and language learning.
- Use the same rhyme or song with different pictures (visual literacy).
Use the following planning sheet for teaching songs and rhymes to pre-primers in an effective way: