Entertain, Amuse and Educate

How to use nursery rhymes to expand vocabulary


Are you looking for ideas to expand young students’ vocabulary skills?  While the thesaurus is an excellent source for helping students learn new words, it can also be used to generate laughter and fun.  One of my creative colleagues developed many engaging activities to extend speaking and writing vocabularies.  One of my favorites was the highly sophisticated book of nursery rhymes.  Students enjoyed embellishing traditional nursery rhymes with synonyms chosen to entertain, amuse, and educate readers. 

Our class made a big book of revised rhymes and folded each page of the book into thirds.  One-third contained the original rhyme.  One-third contained an illustration, and one-third contained the “highly sophisticated” revised nursery rhyme.  They even included a glossary for others to learn the new words. The students had so much fun creating the books, they incorporated many of the words into their written and spoken vocabularies. 

Humpty Dumpty perched on a barricade,

Humpty Dumpty had a stupendous plunge;

All the monarch's horses and his assemblage

Couldn't fasten Humpty intact again. 



Jack and Jill went up the mound

To obtain a container of aqua;

Jack blundered and cracked his crown,

And Jill came plummeting after. 


How to use nursery rhymes to expand vocabulary

Contact Information

Debra Lemieux

If Then Creativity



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