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Rhyming Chants, Jingles and Songs

Rhymes, riddles, songs, and other forms of word play are a great way to have fun with the sounds of language – and they help children develop phonological awareness.

Why rhymes, jingles, and songs are important for struggling readers

Language play is fun! Enjoyment of words and the sounds of language is a great way to build motivation for all readers, and rhymes, chants, and jingles provide authentic opportunities for practice with rhymes and rhythm that builds both phonological awareness and fluency. Teachers of all subject areas (including special areas such as physical education, music, art) can integrate rhymes and songs into their classes. Students may make up their own rhymes for play during recess.

Links and Resources for:
Jump Rope Rhymes | Clapping Games | Nursery Rhymes | Songs

Hallie Kay Yopp includes lots of songs, chants, and rhyming activities for use in phonological development lessons in this article:
Developing phonemic awareness in young children by Hallie Kay Yopp (1992). The Reading Teacher, vol. 45, issue pp. 696-703.

Rhymes: Online resources

Find a rhyme for any word at Rhymezone.com

Generating rhymes: Developing phonemic awareness lesson plan

Teaching Short Vowel Discrimination Using Dr. Seuss Rhymes

Word recognition lessons using nursery rhymes

Word Families in Nursery Rhymes

Growing readers and writers with help from Mother Goose – lesson plans and resources for using nursery rhymes

Books of Rhymes

Read Aloud Rhymes for the Very Young by Jack Prelutsky (Knopf, 1986).

Runny Babbit: A Billy Sook by Shel Silverstein (HarperCollins, 2005) -- also available on CD.

Jump Rope Rhymes: Online resources

Jump Rope Rhymes

Jump Rope Rhymes

Jump Rope Rhymes and Tips

Kentucky Folklife Jingles:
The students of Meadowthorpe Elementary searched the memories of family members and friends to find popular jump rope jingles and hand claps. Maybe these items will bring back some memories of recess.

Chants, Clapping Games, and Jump Rope Rhymes

Rope Games

Jump-Rope Rhymes: Published Collections

Smart-Rope Jingles: Jump Rope Rhymes, Raps, and Chants for Active Learning with Cassette(s) by Rosella R. Wallace (Zephyr Press, 1993)

Jump Rope Jingles by Ali Reich (Random House, 1983)

Jump Rope Magic by Afi Scruggs (Scholastic, 1999)
- A fiction picture book about a girl named Shameka who brings joy to a ederly neighbor through her jump-rope rhymes. Includes her jump rope songs rhymes. This book may inspire children to jump-rope at recess and make up their own jingles!

The Eentsy, Weentsy Spider: Fingerplays and Action Rhymes by Joanna Cole (HarperTrophy, 1991)

Anna Banana: 101 Jump-Rope Rhymes by Joanna Cole (HarperTrophy, 1989)

Miss Mary Mack by Joanna Cole & Stephanie Calmenson (HarperTrophy, 1990)

Jump Rope Rhymes by The Lady With the Alligator Purse (Klutz, 1998)

A My Name Is… by Alice Lyne (Charlesbridge Publishing, 1997)

Hand Clapping Games

Hand Clap! "Miss Mary Mack" and 42 Other Hand Clapping Games for Kids by Sara Bernstein (Adams Media, 1994)

Songs: Online Resources

Songs for Teaching – includes songs for content areas and lots more!

Kiddidles – songs (with lyrics and music) for young children

Songs: Published Collections and Children's Literature

Iza Tripani illustrates nursery rhymes and traditional songs such as "Oh Where, Oh Where Has My Little Dog Gone?" and "The Itsy Bitsy Spider"; recordings of some songs are also available.
Read about the author/illustrator: http://www.embracingthechild.org/atrapani.html
Publisher website: http://www.embracingthechild.org/atrapani.html

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly by Sims Taback (Viking Juvenile, 1997)

Alan Katz writes new, "silly dilly" lyrics to familiar tunes -- thus transforming "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" into "Take Me Out of the Bathtub." Children will love reading, rereading, and singing the silly lyrics to these songs:

  • Take Me Out of the Bathtub and Other Silly Dilly Songs (Margaret K. McElderry, 1997)
  • I'm Still Here in the Bathtub: Brand New Silly Dilly Songs (Margaret K. McElderry, 2003)
  • Where Did They Hide My Presents?: Silly Dilly Christmas Songs (Margaret K. McElderry, 2005)

Songs in Schools -- NPR News Story --- This music teacher is helping students develop phonological awareness through songs and music.
"Mr. Songflower Man Shares Love of Music with Kids" by Jeffrey Pepper Rodgers
All Things Considered, January 10, 2006 · The Itsy Bitsy Spider better watch out: The young people of Syracuse, N.Y. are singing some new tunes. An engaging music teacher is expanding the schoolroom repertoire -- to include classic tunes by Sam Cooke and other, non-Disney characters. Jeffrey Pepper Rodgers introduces us to Mr. Songflower Man.

Teacher Tips

How do you use rhymes, riddles, and songs in your class? Submit your ideas here!

Kids’ Input

What are your favorite rhymes, riddles, and songs? Submit your ideas here!