Rhyming and Folk Tales

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An Annotation by Andrea Wondra

Philip Clarkson gives a convincing argument for using rhyming and folk tales to help children comprehend mathematical problems.  He makes reference to the “Twelve Days of Christmas” song and helping children figure out just how many presents were given for Christmas.  He also makes reference to the “Little Red Riding Hood” folk tale to promote skills in distance traveled by Little Red Riding Hood.  “The Three Little Bears” tale is mentioned as a focus for enhancing measurement skills.  Several other rhymes and folk tales are mentioned to promote skills in other mathematical areas.

This article is relevant to my research because it gives an additional reason for using rhyming in the classroom.  I have found that most research on teaching rhyming skills to young students refers to language development and enhancement of early literacy skills.  This article, however, focuses on the importance of using rhyme in the classroom to enhance mathematical skills.  I feel this is a valid point to consider.

This is a high quality resource because it is copyrighted by the Australian Primary Mathematics Classroom which a professional journal of the Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers Inc.  This journal is written for anyone interested in primary mathematics education, but mainly for classroom teachers.

Clarkson, P. (2006). Rhyming and Folk Tales. Australian Primary Mathematics Classroom11(4), 18-23.

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