Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Rhymers will be Readers: Books for Teaching Rhyming in Context

Okay, I know you have been hearing a lot about rhyming from me and I promise this will be the last post (at least for awhile!).  I just finished reading the book Reading Magic: Why Reading Aloud to our Children will Change Their Lives Forever.    It was SOOOO good!  Seriously, it summed up practically everything I learned in all my hours of Masters classes to get my M.Ed. in Reading.  It is an easy read and it will make you want to grab your kids or borrow someone else's and go read lots and lots of books together.  If you are a teacher or a parent, it is an essential read!

As I was reading, Mem Fox began to speak about, you guessed it, RHYMING!  :)  She says:
From songs, children learn words, sentences, rhythm, rhyme, and repetition, all of which they'll find later in the books they read.  Kids who can't recognize the fact that two words such as bed and Fred rhyme -- and there are many such kids -- have a hard time learning to read, whereas those who can rhyme are able to make more inspired and more correct guesses about what a particular word might be when they are reading. 
For example, in "Mary Had a Little Lamb," a child familiar with the rhyme would have no difficulty in reading the last word go because it so obviously rhymes with snow:  
Mary had a little lamb
Its fleece was white as snow
And everywhere that Mary went,
The lamb was sure to go.
Rhymers will be readers:  it's that simple.  Experts in literacy and child development have discovered that if children know eight nursery rhymes by heart by the time they're four years old, they're usually among the best readers by the time they're eight.  

So, now do you understand why I have been on a rhyming kick?  I have listed below some fun books available in Spanish with lots rhyme.  This is a short list so please leave your suggestions below in the comments!

A Tu Ritmo! (Spanish Edition)

As Mem Fox says later in the book "Beginning readers also need to know that the language in sentences usually makes sense."  Good rhyming books add to students' ability to make sense of that they are reading and predict at the micro-level the word or words that are to come next.  I love to play "Guess the Covered Word" using sticky notes in books.  Using Doreen Cronin's book above, I covered the word colchón to see if students could use both meaning and structure to correctly guess the word.  
¡Pío Peep!: Traditional Spanish Nursery Rhymes

ABeCedario salvaje (Abecedarios) (Spanish Edition)

ABeCedario nutritivo (Spanish Edition)

As you play the rhyming games like those here, here, and here, it is important to always bring that skill back into the context of real text.  What are your favorite books for sharing the love of rhythm and rhyme with your students?

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