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Established since 1993

This free website has been created especially for you by Bibi Baxter (International Author, Teacher & ESL/EFL Materials Specialist)  <>()<> This website contains 'something' for everyone <>()<> Established since 1993, Musical English Lessons International are the only world-wide suppliers of special ESL/EFL study ideas by Bibi Baxter (formerly Bibi Boarder)

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USING NURSERY RHYMES TO TEACH ENGLISH

THE CONTENTS OF THIS PAGE

RELATED PAGES

USING NURSERY RHYMES TO TEACH ENGLISH

GENERAL

  • With the help of nursery rhymes, very young children can be introduced to English in a fun, yet beneficial way.

  • This page gives the words, music and action for each verse.

INTONATION

More mature students will be interested to see (from the keyboard notes) how the syllables fit into the music, yet the overall timing of the lines remains the same:-

  • More syllables mean short notes

  • Less syllables occupy the same amount of time, using longer notes.

TOMMY THUMB

NOTES
  • In this nursery rhyme, names are given to fingers and thumb
  • There are six verses
  • ACTIONS:  Children hold up the relevant fingers of both hands as they sing (They must keep the other fingers closed.)
  • Names are applied as follows:-
    • The thumb =  Tommy Thumb
    • The index finger =  Peter Pointer
    • The middle finger = Toby Tall
    • The ring finger = Ruby Ring
    • The small finger = Baby Small

PEDAGOGIC NOTES;

  • GRAMMAR:  Tense:  Simple Present (am/are)
  • PRONOUNS: I, you, we
  • VOCABULARY:  thumb, fingers, ring, small, tall, proper nouns (names)
  • EXPONENTS: How do you do?  Where are you?  Here I am.  Here we are.

KEYBOARD: 

  • Single letters indicate a short notes. 
  • Long notes are indicated by a lower case letter beside the capital letter. 
  • Lower case letters should not be played as notes;  just hold your finger on the note for another beat.

ACCOMPANYING MOVEMENTS DURING THE SONG:

  • Tommy Thumb:  Waggle thumb
  • Peter Pointer:     Waggle the index finger
  • Toby Tall:           Waggle the tallest finger
  • Ruby Ring:         Waggle the ring finger
  • Baby Small:        Waggle the smallest finger
  • Fingers All:         Waggle all the fingers
Sing:

Keyboard:

Sing:

Keyboard:

Sing

Keyboard:

Sing:

Keyboard:

Tommy Thumb, Tommy Thumb

 Cc     E      Gg     Cc  E    Gg  

Where  are  you?

   Aa     Cc  Gg

Here I am;     here I am.

 Cc  A  Aa     Cc  A  Aa

How do you do?

 Ee    D   D   Gg

Sing:

Keyboard:

Sing:

Keyboard:

Sing

Keyboard:

Sing:

Keyboard:

Peter Pointer;   Peter Pointer

C  E   G   G     C  E   G  G

Where are you?

   Aa     Cc  Gg

Here I am;     here I am.

 Cc  A  Aa     Cc  A  Aa

How do you do?

 Ee    D   D   Gg

Sing:

Keyboard:

Sing:

Keyboard:

Sing

Keyboard:

Sing:

Keyboard:

Toby Tall:   Toby Tall:

 Cc E  Gg    Cc E  Gg  

Where are you?

   Aa     Cc  Gg

Here I am;     here I am.

 Cc  A  Aa     Cc  A  Aa

How do you do?

 Ee    D   D   Gg

Sing:

Keyboard:

Sing:

Keyboard:

Sing

Keyboard:

Sing:

Keyboard:

Ruby Ring;  Ruby Ring

Cc E   Gg    Cc E   Gg  

Where are you?

  Aa     Cc  Gg

Here I am;     here I am.

 Cc  A  Aa     Cc  A  Aa

How do you do?

 Ee    D   D   Gg

Sing:

Keyboard:

Sing:

Keyboard:

Sing

Keyboard:

Sing:

Keyboard:

Baby Small;  Baby Small

Cc E    Gg     Cc E   Gg  

Where are you?

   Aa     Cc  Gg

Here I am;     here I am.

 Cc  A  Aa     Cc  A  Aa

How do you do?

 Ee    D   D   Gg

Sing:

Keyboard:

Sing:

Keyboard:

Sing

Keyboard:

Sing:

Keyboard:

Fingers All;  Fingers All

 Cc  E   Gg   Cc   E  Gg  

Where are you?

  Aa     Cc  Gg

Here we are;     here we are.

  Cc  A  Aa         Cc  A   Aa

How do you do?

 Ee    D   D   Gg

FEEDBACK

Sing a song of six pence a pocket full of rye,

Four and twenty blackbirds, baked in a pie

When the pie was opened, the birds began to sing

Wasn't that a dainty dish to put before a king?  

<>()<>

The maid was in the garden,

Hanging out the clothes,

When down came a black bird

And pecked off her nose.

INSTRUCTIONS:  Pretend to take the child's nose by putting your index & middle fingers over their nose.  Next, put your thumb between those fingers to make it look as if you have taken the child's nose.

  • From: susan and alan

  • Subject: Six Pence...

  • Date: Fri, 17 Sep 2004 12:25:55 -0400  

After visiting your wonderfully detailed site I now realize the above song is not necessarily a proverb, although it should be, for it is telling some lesson of the past times. The story is one that gets me wondering,

  • 1) why did a pocket full of rye cost 6 pence in ???? whatever date the tune was written?

  • 2) What significance do the 4 and 20 Black Birds represent in a pie made in Denmark? a dainty dish, (a joke?)  

  • 3) Why did the poor maid get her nose snipped off by a "Black Bird" while hanging out the Queens cloths?

Who were the king and Queen at the time and I'm sure they were robbing the people with taxes which probably brings Robin Hood into the picture. But thats another story.       A response would be nice but not necessary and Thank You for being out there.  ALAN HEIGHT, Florida Boy

Bibi's Comment:  Thank you for your delightful email.  I don't know the origin of the nursery rhyme, but rhymes were used to convey news from village to village, so I imagine that either a pretend pie was filled with live song-birds as a novelty, or that a crow pie was undercooked.  (Mind you, were it the latter, they would hardly come out singing - more like cracking on alarming!) On reflection, the fact that a crow might have pecked a maid's nose, doesn't surprise me. Crows often attack small animals, rabbits, etc. to see if they are strong enough to fight them off;  I have actually seen this happen.  Attacks can go on for 15 minutes or so and usually involve more than one bird.  Can't tell you anything about the rye, but it was probably the going rate.

 
 
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<>()<>
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