The Magic of Rhymes and Tales

A whole new generation of students in the Washington Township School District in Morris County experience the magic of fairy tales thanks to their teachers and a $2,900 grant from the NJEA Frederick L. Hipp Foundation for Excellence in Education.

The Magic of Rhymes and Tales is intended to develop receptive and expressive literacy skills through the integration of the classic literary forms: nursery rhymes and fairy tales. Teachers Susan Ort of Old Farmers Road School, Denise Scairpon of Benedict A. Cucinella School, and Emily Palmieri of Flocktown Kossman School, implement the project. Through weekly viewing, reading, and listening to selections of fairy tales and nursery rhymes, children develop phonological awareness, rhyming, and knowledge of word families. Students are encouraged to name objects and learn word meanings.

Students journal weekly about the literary forms, to develop their writing skills. Students perform puppet shows for their fellow classmates and preschool/first-grade buddies to help recall story elements. Children learn to use intonation to express emotions and increase expressive language in a whimsical and nonthreatening context. The shows are videotaped to share with their preschool/first-grade buddies. Sign language is incorporated into the puppet shows for non-verbal preschoolers to help promote socialization.

As a culminating activity, families are invited to “Bedtime Tales.” Children come in their pajamas and perform/read several of the tales they have studied in the program. The videos of past puppet shows are shared with attendees.

This project can be easily replicated in your school and shared with students between buildings or videotaped and shared online. Read more in the Final Report.

For further information, contact:

Susan M. Ort
School – (908) 876-3865