Molly, my sister, and I fell out,
And what you think it was all about?
She loved coffee and I loved tea,
And that was why we couldn’t agree.
Why rhymes matter
- Rhymes support children’s language and communication skills.
- They help children’s listening skills and also their speech sounds.
- They raise children’s ‘phonological awareness’ – a skill involved in reading. This is the ability to identify and use parts of spoken words, such as syllables (‘sis-ter’) and letters (‘c-u-p’), as well as sound patterns in words, such as rhymes (‘cat’, ‘mat’, ‘sat’) and alliteration (‘she sells seashells on the seashore’).
- Rhymes also build children’s social skills when they are said or sung with others.
Tips for sharing nursery rhymes
- Say or sing rhymes. And don’t be embarrassed about your singing!
- Emphasise the beat (pulse) and rhythm.
- Draw children’s attention to the various rhyming words.
- Vary the pace you say the rhyme.
- Slowing down will help children to hear rhymes more clearly.
- Have fun with the words. Change some of the words or pause before a word to see if the child can say it.
- Share rhymes with parents.
Suggestions for sharing this rhyme
- Explain to the children that this is a rhyme about two sisters, or a brother and sister.
- Say the rhyme slowly. Then repeat it and see if children can join in.
- Emphasise these rhymes - ‘out’ and ‘about’ and ‘tea’ and ‘agree’.
- Try missing out the ‘agree’ and see if children can fill it in.
- Talk about what ‘fell out’ and ‘agree’ mean.
- Record this rhyme and/or write the words down to share with parents.
Ideas for extending the learning
- Ask children about when they argue and who they argue with.
- Create a chart with two columns ‘I don’t like’ and ‘I like’ and record children’s comments.
- Find out which children have siblings (don’t forget step and half siblings).
- Visit a café with children.
- Create a role-play café complete with menus, teapots and different-sized cups.
- Encourage parents to show their children at home how they make tea and coffee.