Free Nursery Rhymes Essay Sample

This essay will briefly examine the controversies associated with nursery school rhymes. The essay specifically will look at the use and value of nursery rhymes and then examines the issue of violence associated with these rhymes. The essay will draw from my personal experience of the nursery schools rhymes in examining the above issues. The essay will draw from the views of researchers who have carried out studies on nursery school rhymes. Basically this essay makes an attempt to draw a clear line on an issue which is much debated on how children should be brought in reference to the teaching methods.  

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Nursery rhymes can be said to be short songs composed for children. In most cases these short songs have specific characteristic which make them stand out and popular among children. The songs are composed to pass a message though in most cases they tell tales. Nursery rhymes are very popular among children and are learnt long before a child starts to write and read. The rhythm associated with these songs and the story that the songs tell are probably the characteristics which make the songs to be popular among children. Drawing from personal experience, another reason I believe which makes these songs to be quite popular is the curiosity of the children. At the tender stage of life children are quite curious to learn and are very much willing to know new things. I also believe that children are usually quite keen at the tender ages and are able to memorize short paragraphs. Seemingly, knowing new things must be very interesting to children and this makes them to give undivided attention to their teachers whenever they are being narrated a tale. Basing on the argument we nest move to examine the use and value of nursery rhymes (Rhymes, 2010).

Use and Value of Nursery Rhymes

Nursery rhymes are mainly used for learning purposes. In most cases children will learn their first nursery rhyme upon being enrolled in school. These songs are used as the first step to teaching children. As seen above, children will rarely forget a rhyme once thought. Most teachers use this opportunity positively by composing songs which have got some message. Children are taught how to sing names of things and as they sings they are shown the pictures of the names that they sing. In this manner the child is able to associate a given word with a given picture shown to him or her. Nursery rhymes are also used to teach family words to children.  Words such as, "an, ban, bran, can, clan, fan"; "ash, bash, brash, cash, dash, flash, gnash, hash"; "blame, came, fame, flame, game, lame, same, shame" among many other are taught to children through nursery rhymes. The nursery rhymes are also used to act as the children sing out. The children either draw pictures or use puppets to make the movement depicted in the songs that they sing. Basically the nursery rhymes are used to teach learning concepts as further explained below.

Songs which are associated with the movement of time, for instance the Hickory Dickory Dock, can be used to teach time by having a simple big clock. The clock hands can be moved mechanically with the each verse of the above song as each verse tells of a different time. Other songs such as the ten little monkeys can be used to teach arithmetic.  The children can be given objects representing the monkeys and the as the song progresses they can be isolate the object in the correct number as per the song progress. Still these rhymes can be used effectively to teach their culture and how it has changed. This is clearly illustrated by the song old Mother Hubbard. Rhymes such as Rub- a- dub -dub, three men in a tub can be used to show the difference which has taken place between the modern time and the ancient time in of how things were done. Basically nursery rhymes can be used to trigger much discussion on a number of issues about the society and this will help the young one to learn vital lessons about their culture. Reciting of nursery rhymes is valuable to the children as it helps them to become aware of their language as they learn the syllables and sounds which make a language. It makes it possible for children to realize the language structure and engage in proper pronunciation of words. Having examined the use and value of the nursery rhymes we turn the focus to the issue of violence as depicted in the rhymes (Dancy, and Baldwin, 2000).

Violence in Nursery Rhymes

According to Hitti (2004), violence in nursery rhymes is quite concentrated. It has been shown that forty one percent of the nursery rhymes contain some nature of violence. It has been argued that nursery rhymes instil some kind of fear within the hearts of children. It is said that children are aware of the monsters which eat people and which only appears at dark. The nursery rhymes are said to be channels through which imagined stories are created and monsters of any kind created. Davies, Lee, Fox and Fox (2004) affirmed through their research that nursery rhymes indeed have some good portion violence. The presence of violence in nursery rhymes is generally agreed but its effects on children are still argued out. According to Davies, Lee, Fox and Fox (2004) the effect this violence will have on the child will depend o the age of the child. Drawing from my personal experience I find this to be quite true. I recall some rhymes which caused much fear within my heart when I was young. This happened especially when it was at night but as I grew it came to my realization that the monsters in the rhyme did not actually exist.

It has been argued that some of the nursery rhymes are not friendly. If a child is continuously taught rhymes which advocate violence and have scaring characters, the child's development is likely to be affected. There is likelihood that the child will develop some kind of phobia towards darkness or some kind of noise because these will be associated with the monsters which the child has been taught through the rhymes. I totally agree that this is a possibility and it can happen as most kids believe what they learn. However, there is a need for one to take a realistic approach when debating on the issue of violence in nursery rhymes. It is most unlikely that a teacher will embark on teaching his/her students rhymes which specific ally are meant to instil fear within the hearts of the children. In most cases the violence depicted in nursery rhymes is mild and meant to make the story real and interesting.

Nursery rhymes are a powerful tool used in teaching children. The curiosity displayed by children makes it possible for them to learn the rhymes quite easily. It has been shown that different concepts can be learnt through the assistance of the rhymes. Though some of the rhymes are associated with violence and have the ability to instil fear in the hearts of the children, rhymes are generally harmless and if properly administered to the children they act as powerful learning aid to children.


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