Pick any children's nursery rhyme, dictate it to the class (comprehension) and ask them to read it back (reading, pronunciation, spelling). Then help with the weird words that they had to guess at (perception of similar sounds and referral to their data base of known words and sounds). Finally help with comprehension, if necessary.
The exciting part comes next. Ask students, in turn, to role play the characters and interact with each other. Example:
Little Miss Muffet, sat on a tuffet,
Eating her curds and whey.
Along came a spider,
Sat down beside her,
And chased Miss Muffet away.
You may think that only two roles are available. But, the mini theatre can develop in an infinite number of ways. Miss Muffet and the friendly spider/deadly spider. The absent mother. The psychologist treating the trauma. The farmer who had tried to spray the field and exterminate the spiders. Green Peace, the press, etc.
Try Jack and Jill, Humpty Dumpty, Hey Diddle Diddle, etc. Great fun, lots of laughs, and very educational!
Bruce Neill, Florida, USA
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