“This Old Man”: Eleven and Heaven Rhyme

For about a week, I have been offering a special sticker to a student who can find a word that rhymes with “eleven.”  The Owls, ZebrasGiraffes, and Bears have been stumped finding a rhyme.  On Tuesday, D. Alligators said, “heaven” rhymes with “eleven.”  Perfect!  He earned a “Brilliant!” sticker that he wore proudly on his shirt.  On Thursday, C. Agents said, “Eleven and seven rhyme.”  Wow!  Next he shared that “twelve rhymes with shelve.” Yes!  He also earned a “Brilliant!” sticker.

For several weeks, the Bears class has wanted to extend the numbers and rhymes of “This Old Man.”  So, we worked on the rhymes of eleven to fifteen.  We love singing the “This Old Man” song, counting the numbers, and using rhyming words.  Using a rhyming app (RhymeFree) on my iPhone, I gave student choices of different words that rhymed.  We decided on the words and sang through from one to fifteen.  After that, they wanted to figure out sixteen and seventeen!

Below are the words we determined with the Bears and the picture to the right is what we decided for the Agents:

eleven: heaven
twelve: shelve
thirteen: machine
fourteen: sunscreen
fifteen: caffeine



“This Old Man” has been a jumping board for curiosity in rhyming words and working on counting numbers.  With the repetitive lyrics and predictability in consecutive numbers, students feel comfortable to sing and to name the next number of the song.  Playing the sticks while singing the song, we have different movements for the rhyming words (ex. using sticks to put sunscreen on body, “drinking” the sticks.)  With the Bears, we may write more verses and maybe even an extended “This Old Man” book!


About Hilary Yip

Music Therapy. Martial Arts. Rowing/Coxswain. Creative Movement.
This entry was posted in Agents 12-13, Alligators 12-13, Bears 12-13, Book, Counting, Giraffes 12-13, Rhythm Sticks, Zebras 12-13 and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


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