Nursery rhymes aren’t just fun to sing. They’re also a great way to teach pre-reading skills!
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“My child knows his letters and sounds. Is he ready to read?”
When readers ask me this question, I direct them to my most popular post, “5 things kids need before they’re ready to sound it out.” In that post, my number one tip is to help children develop concepts of print.
What are “concepts of print,” anyway?
Concepts of print are basic understandings about letters, words, sentences, and books.
- Knowing how to hold books correctly and turn pages in the right direction
- Understanding the difference between a letter, word, and sentence
- Knowing that each word on a page represents a spoken word
- Understanding that text is read from left to right
Don’t kids develop concepts of print naturally?
Sometimes. If you read a lot to your child, he may internalize these concepts without any special teaching from you. But for many children, explicit instruction is necessary.
We have six kids. I taught my oldest three to read before kindergarten, starting with a fun preschool reading curriculum, books I created myself, and loads of free phonics printables. I’m excited to get started with my Four, but unlike the older three he needs more work with concepts of print.
So I created my new Nursery Rhymes Concepts of Print Pack!
Why nursery rhymes?
There’s a reason nursery rhymes have been around for hundreds of yours. They’re catchy. Kids love them. Best of all, they’re easy to remember. (Want even more reasons? Check out ten reasons why today’s kids still benefit from learning nursery rhymes.)
Tell me about this pack!
The pack comes with ten printable emergent readers (in both color and black & white). When your child already knows the rhyme, he can recite it while pointing to the dots under each word.
I noticed that my Four had trouble when reading “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.” He wanted to make “diamond” two words, since it has two syllables. But then he ended up on the word “the” too soon. Since he knows how to read that word, he got stuck and started the page over.
“This is too hard! I don’t want to do this anymore!”
I knew we needed to start with a different activity from the pack.
I printed the pocket chart sentences, and on a different day we put the rhyme together. Seeing the words as separate cards really helped it click.
He loves reading with our fun pointer, and he did great! Each time he got stuck (on “above” and “diamond”) he started the sentence over and was able to see that each of those words is a single word.
(And when I gave him the book to read afterward, he read it perfectly.)
This is another great hands-on activity. I sit next to him, read each line of the poem, and he builds it with linking cubes – using one word per cube. Afterward, he counts the blocks and I write the number of words for each line.
Here’s a simple letter, word, and sentence sort.
When I told my son to circle a word, underline a sentence, or cross out a letter, it opened my eyes to what he does and doesn’t know about concepts of print. He’s getting better and better at these activity sheets!
Here’s another page we did together. I read each line, and he used beginning sound clues to figure out the missing words.
What a great printable for teaching how to follow text! My Four starts at the green dot and moves to the right, reciting each line. Then he moves his finger to the green dot on the next line and recites again.
This just may be my favorite activity from the pack. It was inspired by the Concepts of Print pages from this fabulous and affordable preschool reading curriculum. Each rhyme comes with a “Glue and Draw” page in which your child reconstructs a sentence from a rhyme and illustrates it.
My Four cuts out the words, I tell him the sentence, and he rebuilds it by finding each word using beginning sound clues.
At first, he chose the word “what” when trying to find “wonder.” (Because they both start with “w,” of course.) Then he looked more closely. “This one is ‘wonder’ because it ends with an r.”
Such a wonderful lightbulb moment! Your child will have lots of them when you use the activities in this pack.
GET ACTIVITIES FOR 10 POPULAR RHYMES!
Nursery Rhyme Concepts of Print Pack – Set 1
Since children love nursery rhymes, these classic poems are the perfect text for teaching concepts of print. This file contains 280 pages of printable activities featuring ten different nursery rhymes. The file includes instructions for how to teach concept of word, voice to print matching, and more.