Teaching Sequencing with Nursery Rhymes

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Nursery rhymes are great for teaching imitation through repetition but they are also a good tool in teaching sequencing. Read our latest educational activity from the Dabbling Momma, which will help to spice up those old rhymes. 

By Susen Kuchta of Dabbling Momma

Sequencing is important as it helps a child comprehend what is read and identify with the beginning, middle and end of what they are reading.

With my preschooler we have done sequencing with her storybooks and with nursery rhymes. Most children are familiar with nursery rhymes because it seems they are a go to for parents, caregivers and teachers and also a good place to start with a sequence activity. A child’s favorite story would also be good to use since the child will be familiar with the story line.

I’m a saver of cardboard because sooner or later you can find some way to re-­purpose it. I used a piece of cardboard to make a book board which works very nicely for this kind of activity. However, using a book board is absolutely not necessary and simply laying out the cards on a table or floor will work just as well!

Materials used

  • Cardboard
  • Velcro
  • Printed photos of nursery rhymes
  • Laminator

Remember if you are not using a book board simply print some photos or cut from magazines and/or newspapers. Laminating is also not necessary it just preserves the photos. Teachers Pay Teachers is a great site and is where I found the nursery rhyme printables. Once I printed off the nursery rhymes I laminated and cut them out, stuck the velcro to the back of the printables and to the board. Keep in mind if not using a book board just skip this part.

Variations on how to play

Sequencing on one of our book boards

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Sequencing without book board ­ just laid out on table

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Figuring out order: Hey Diddle Diddle and Jack & Jill 

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Reciting the Nursery Rhymes

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Here we use one of our favorite stories, Hush, Little Ones by John Butler. I printed off pictures of animals in the story and had my daughter arrange the animals in order as they are in the book. 

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t_sequencing_hush_little_ones_book_march_2015_pm[1]Sequencing does not need to be done only by using nursery rhymes or books. If you don’t have a printer to print off pictures, try cutting pictures from the newspaper or magazines and do a picture sequence. You could sequence things like the life cycle of a caterpillar or bedtime routine. Be sure to use words like, “first”, “next” and “last”.

Sequencing might seem simple to teach but keep in mind it is a skill that is carried over to other areas so take the time necessary to ensure your child fully understands.

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