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Nursery rhyme characters can teach the dress for success concept

Updated on July 25, 2016
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Cindy Hewitt is a retired teacher with a passion for children's literature. Read-aloud stories add quality to a child's life experiences.

Nursery rhyme characters learn that less is more

Fun read aloud books are often a useful tool in teaching life concepts. Young children easily relate to characters who might encounter a life experience that is similar to their own experience. Children in our society today are exposed to many materialistic ideas and clothes are definitely in the limelight with desired brands and designs. Sometimes "less is more". Tammi Sauer's new book "Mary Had a Little Glam" is a colorful story that introduces children to the concept that the best and most expensive clothes are not always conducive to fun.

The familiar character from the nursery rhyme "Mary Had a Little Lamb" becomes Mary who loves fashion. She dresses in her best clothes when going to school. She notices that her friends are not dressed in fancy clothes and decides that she should help them learn to love fashion the way she does. She introduces her friends to beads, boas, and glamour in their method of dressing for school. All is well as long as everyone is in the classroom. But Mary and her friends soon discover that these clothes take away the fun from recess outside. Mary and her friends learn the lesson that sometimes real glamour sometimes calls for "less is more". More fun outside calls for less glamour in clothes.

Each page in "Mary Had a Little Glam" is filled with colorful and large illustrations by Vanessa Brantley-Newton. This book is also of interest in that Mary is featured as a little girl of color. The favorite nursery rhyme characters of Little Boy Blue, Georgie Porgie, and Little Bo Peep all have classroom jobs. Children will enjoy all of the characters and will relate to Mary's friends who are also children of color. This delightful picture book was published by Sterling Children's Books and has an ISBN of 978-1-4549-1393-1.

Less is more is learned with a fun read aloud picture book

Nursery Mary from the little lamb learns that less is more
Nursery Mary from the little lamb learns that less is more

Picture book and nursery rhyme character teaches life lesson

Dressing for school

Every parent has experienced shopping for clothes with children of all ages. Shopping for school clothes can be challenging in that the latest fashions and brands are always in demand by even the preschool and kindergarten groups. Parents who cannot afford the brands of clothes that all children want feel guilty when these clothes cannot be purchased. A life lesson enters into a discussion about the fact that we don't always get what we want. Discussions about family finances and family budgets often come up when shopping for school clothes.

Many schools have solved the problem with fashion issues that have arisen in our society today by having students wear uniforms. Parents appreciate the uniforms in that this school attire does solve the problem of competition in clothes that children want to wear. Uniforms also solve the problem of loads of laundry that come with traditional school clothes.

Some students complain that the uniforms create a cookie-cutter appearance in schools and discourage individuals from being themselves. Schools that still allow students to dress in street clothes do have rules that students must follow in order to dress in a suitable manner. The way that our children dress is a valuable lesson that can carry through to their adult life.

Uniforms vs. street clothes for school

Uniforms discourage competition in dressing for school
Uniforms discourage competition in dressing for school

Dressing for school

Are uniforms popular with your children?

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Nursery rhymes and early language skills

Tammi Sauer's fun picture book that teaches the life lesson that less glamour in school clothes can contribute to more fun has a rhyming text. Rhymes and nursery rhymes are sometimes the first experience that children have with reading and listening to words being read out loud. Engaging pictures that are large and colorful are also beneficial to early reading skills. Young children use pictures to interpret the words on a page before they actually know what the word say. Rhyming words in a text enable children to hear letter sounds and the repetition that nursery rhymes provide provide a learning experience in which children can practice pitch, volume and voice inflections. Short, easy to repeat sentences that are featured in nursery rhymes provide an early reading experience.

Many families are still reading nursery rhymes and stories that are written in rhymes. Parents can make these books a part of their family bookshelf and family reading time to provide their children with valuable early reading skills.

Rhymes provide a wealth of early reading skills

Mother Goose teaches early reading skills
Mother Goose teaches early reading skills

Teaching rhymes and using nursery rhymes in my classroom

I taught in early childhood classrooms for 32 years. My passion was in the area of teaching early literacy skills. I used many engaging children's books that were written with rhyming text and I also used nursery rhymes to teach concepts. I even included nursery rhymes in teaching math skills. I always found that young children enjoyed rhyming text and the nursery rhymes. I engaged my class in participating in reading aloud experiences by creating activities in which they could recite the rhymes. listen for rhyming words. and even clap the rhythm of a rhyming text. Books that provide activities that children can participate in and learn early reading skills should also be part of a family story time.

Early Reading Experiences

Story time experiences
Story time experiences


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