After working on our alphabet train, it is time to work on our numbers with the Alligators, Zebras, Giraffes, Adventurers, Owls, and Agents. Using the song “This Old Man,” rhythm sticks, and “This Old Man” book illustrated by Carol Jones, we work on counting and rhymes.
The pictures of the book give the students a hint at what the Old Man plays on, helping with the rhyme of the number. After reading the story, students get rhythm sticks to play “nick nack paddy whack” on similar objects as the Old Man. With some objects, such as the door or gate, we pretend there is one next to us. With shoe, knees, and line, we play on the object. Students work on sequencing numbers and tapping to the rhythm of the song.
This is a familiar song for many students and they sing along with me. So many are so excited about the numbers, proudly stating the numbers during my pause after “This Old Man, he played…” Working on rhymes are important as it works on language comprehension and reading readiness. I have always sung this song to ten and one student today sang to eleven, asking what was next. We are sure to make up some more rhymes next week!