Mother Goose's Nursery Rhymes
Thirty-five cards from literature timeline. 3-part card material on foam core board. see www.montessorilitlines.com. Students bring language notebooks and a pencil.
Students need "Great Lesson: "The Birth of Literature"
1. Ask students to observe the timeline. "What was the first literary form in western culture? (The epic) What came first, traditional literature or genres? (Traditional literature). Give an example of a traditional form. Give an example of a genre. Tell the person next to you the name of a traditional form. Tell the person next to you the name of a genre.
2. What's a nursery rhyme. Can anyone give an example from memory?
3. Who can find where nursery rhymes come in on the timeline? Someone reads the card, which says that John Newman first published Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes in 1787. They were illustrated by Charles Perrault, who originally came up with the drawing of Mother Goose. Ask students to tell you what the Newberry Award is, and to name a Newberry Awared winner, such as Lois Lowry's, The Giver. "John Newberry was the first publisher of children's literature; that's why the award is named after him." Students make a note of this information in their language notebooks.
4. Who can find nursery rhymes on the 3-part card material? Will you take the picture, label, and definition card off the board? Will someone else collect all the green timeline cards and replace them in the box?
5. Where do you think nursery rhymes came from? (from mothers playing with their babies; from parents entertaining their children...) Who will read the definition card for nursery rhymes? Where else do nursery rhymes come from? (The definition card mentions, "political satire," and "old drinking songs," as well as the primary source, which is Mother Goose. In talking about political satire, children may know that "ring around the rosie" refers to the characteristic sore that serves as a diagnostic for the bubonic plague Does anyone recognize the drawing? (One little piggy went to market; two little piggies went home...)
6. Let's read a few. Read from "My Very First Mother Goose," edited by Iona Opie, illustrated by Rosemary Wells. I also recommend, "Classic Nursery Rhymes: Enchanting rhymes and songs to share."
7. What is the purpose of nursery rhymes? Discuss. (to teach children counting; to show that it's okay to fall down, to make mistakes, to make silly expressions and sounds that are easy to remember; to enjoy language; to teach children not to be afraid of certain things, such as going up to bed.
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