What's Up With All the Sheep?

6 teachers like this lesson
Print Lesson


SWBAT compare and contrast familiar features of nursery rhymes. Student Objective: I can compare the nursery rhymes about sheep.

Big Idea

Comparing and contrasting several nursery rhymes related to sheep helps clarify thinking and define ideas.


10 minutes

My plan for today is to teach or for some, reteach the nursery rhymes of Mary Had a Little Lamb, Little Bo Peep, and Baa Baa Black Sheep.  Rather than just teaching memorization of nursery rhymes, we are going to analyze the information on a kindergarten level of comparing and contrasting.  I want to first build understanding of the vocabulary of the rhymes since some of these were "written" hundreds of years ago, and the English Language has changed a bit.

If you would please join me on the rug, I would like to share three nursery rhyme posters with you: Mary Had a Little Lamb, Little Bo Peep, and Baa Baa Black Sheep.  As I read these posters, I would like you to read along with me. 

Why do you think these are the posters that I chose to share today?  It is because each of these rhymes have sheep in them. 

Raise your hand if you have seen real sheep.  What do you know about real sheep?  Who takes care of sheep? Sometimes they are farmers, sometimes they are shepherds.  Take a look at this picture.  Do you see the shepherd's crook?  This let's us know that Little Bo Peep was a shepherd.  A girl shepherd is called a shepherdess.


10 minutes

Because nursery rhymes are fun and involve everyday activities, Kindergarten children can relate to them.  Making a personal connection through nursery rhymes helps children become better readers. Many authors assume that children know nursery rhymes. These rhymes that have survived since the time of Shakespeare, and because the Common Core Standards include critical types of content for all students, including classic stories and the writings of Shakespeare, these memorizations and comparisons are the perfect venue for five-year-olds.

On the board, I have put a comparing and contrasting chart for us to fill in.  Who can remember what it means to compare something?  When we compare, we are looking at what is the same.  So, when we compared these three rhymes earlier, we recognized that there was sheep in each rhyme.  What does it mean to contrast?  If compare means the same, contrast probably means...different.

Our chart has room for three nursery rhymes.  We will be comparing and contrasting the three rhymes we heard today: Mary Had a Little Lamb, Little Bo Peep, and Baa Baa Black Sheep. I will be asking you some questions about the rhymes and then when you answer them, I will write your responses on the chart.

Let's talk about how these lists compare.  (Two had girls , all of the sheep caused some problem, etc.)  Now let's compare. (The black sheep was sharing his wool, but the others weren't, Baa Baa Black sheep didn't show his owner, etc.)


10 minutes

The children need to now take what they've learned and share it with the adults in the room. They will take their Nursery Rhyme booklets around to the adults and read the rhymes.  The adults have been prompted to ask the children comparative questions, like "Who did a better job caring for her sheep?" "What did Mary do differently than the boy in Baa Baa Black Sheep?" "Which rhyme did you like best, and why?"

Because we have been working with nursery rhymes all week, I have made you a booklet of the nursery rhymes we have read so that you can take it home to read to your families.  Won't they be surprised at how much you know? 

Since we have some other adults in the room (parapro, Special Education teacher consultant, high school and parent volunteers, Title One teacher--not all at the same time, but throughout our day, we have "push-in" programs), we are going to walk from table to table and ask you to read to us.  This will give you extra practice and we can listen to see if you need more help.