Why nursery rhymes?
Nursery rhymes build early literacy skills. Nursery rhymes help a child to remember sequence. They are short. The sing-song nature of nursery rhymes make them easy for most children to learn and remember. Nursery rhymes build ORAL LANGUAGE.
Nursery rhymes build "phonemic awareness". A child is said to have "phonemic awareness when he or she can identify the indivudual sounds in oral language. Nursery rhymes promote the development of phonemic awareness by focusing on rhyming words and encouraging word play. Nursery rhymes give children a chance to enhance their ability to hear and to discriminate sounds.
Nursery rhymes build an understanding of phonics. Phonics refers to the association of letters and the sounds they represent. Rhymes build an awareness of word families that contain a pattern (chunk of letters.) Once a child becomes familiar with a pattern, they will learn to generalize to other words with similar rimes.