Each day, my students gather at the classroom rug for our literacy block. Today I am introducing the nursery rhyme of the "Muffin Man". Through the use of nursery rhymes, I can teach word families; in this case, the -an family. By introducing rime through familiar text helps the children to comprehend the concepts taught.
Time for our literacy block! Would you please come join me on the rug so that I can share our newest nursery rhyme? Take a look at this picture. If you have an idea who this nursery rhyme character is, please blow it into your hand. Okay, release. It is "The Muffin Man"! What were some of the things that indicated to you that this was "The Muffin Man"? (Have the children describe the picture.) How many of you have had a muffin before? Share with a friend a flavor of muffin you like to eat.
Do you think that this rhyme could be true? (Explain that "The Muffin Man" could be real because we can go to a bakery and buy muffins.) When things are true, they are called real. When stories are about real things, we call that realistic.
What do you think is going to happen in this rhyme? I would like you to listen carefully to find out if your predictions are correct.
Nursery rhymes are short in length and full of repetitions. Children can quickly internalize the language and make them their own. These memorized rhymes are ideal vehicles for playing with language and developing phonemic awareness. I direct the children to come to the rug:
Listen as I read: O, Do you know the Muffin Man, the Muffin Man , the Muffin Man?
Do you know the Muffin Man who lives on Drury Lane?
Yes, I know the Muffin Man, the Muffin Man , the Muffin Man.
Yes, I know the Muffin Man who lives on Drury Lane.
Turn and talk to your neighbor and tell them where you can get muffins.
Now we are going to do an echo chant of this rhyme. Look at this poster as I point to the words. I am going to say the first line, and then I will point to the words as you repeat what I said. When you echo, you will say the exact words that I say. We will read the whole rhyme in this way, and then I will ask you some questions about the Muffin Man.
What is the Muffin Man? (a baker)
What does he do? (he sells muffins)
Who do you think the author is asking the question, "Do you know the Muffin Man?" Who is answering back?
Write the word man on a chart paper or board.
Children, read this word to me--man. Man is one of the words in the -an word family. Let's stretch this word out so that we can hear all the sounds m...a...n... Let's listen to just the ending sounds now: a...n...
We are going to make a list of words that end with the -an sound. We will start at the beginning of the alphabet, make the beginning sound, and then add -an. Let's try this. B-an, ban--this is a real word that means to choose not to do something, but it is not the word band, like marching band. Band ends with a "d" and we are not looking for words that end in "d" we are looking for words in the -an family. What letter do we have next? "C" Let's try: c-an, can.
Go through the entire alphabet making these connections. You may have students whose name rhymes with -an. Add these to the list, too. Once you have made your list read it to your students one more time.
We are going to take the words that we have discovered, and we are going to make a chef's hat. I have a tray of muffins for you, too. Your hat will be made from a sentence strip and a design from a paper that you will need to cut out. The tray of muffins is a picture of muffins with -an words typed onto them. You will need to trace and read the -an words on the muffins and color them in. Remember, if you are the Muffin Man, you are going to want to make your muffins look very tasty so that they will sell. If your work is sloppy, no one will want to buy your muffins. When you have finished both items, you can retell the rhyme to a friend.
When the children put on their chef's hats, the climate of the classroom changed. They took their "trays" and walked around the room selling their wares. At one point, our parapro walked into the room and she fell right into the role of the consumer. The children loved "selling" muffins to her. It was fun to see them pitching the virtues of a particular "flavor" of muffin. Before we completed the assessment, we had a special snack of mini blueberry muffins. They loved this lesson!
As the children get their papers, and before they get to work, it is fun to play a song version of the "Muffin Man".
You have read and retold the rhyme of the Muffin Man, now I would like to see if you can take the words that you have learned from the -an family, and read to complete a paper that graphs the -an family. To begin, you must have a red, yellow, green and blue crayon, and a pencil to write your name. To help you organize your work, look at the box at the top. I would like you to cross-out one word "can" with your red crayon and then color in one box above the can. Do this for each word can and then move on to the next words. (Then, fan with yellow, man with green and pan with blue).
When you have finished this work, raise your hand and I will look at what you have done.
I will ask the children to read the words to me and than I can check if they have absorbed the lesson or if they are just mimicking someone else.