Grab our Humpty Dumpty printable and incorporate it into your preschool classroom this week. It’s a great addition to your list of early literacy activities for preschoolers!
Often when we think of nursery rhymes, we automatically think of babies. But that’s not the only age range that can benefit from learning different nursery rhymes.
In fact, these classic rhymes have so many learning opportunities for kids in preschool! Here are just a few benefits of teaching preschoolers nursery rhymes:
- The nursery rhymes teach . . . wait for it . . . rhyming!
- Reciting the rhymes with rhythm can increase phonemic awareness.
- Learning the words can increase memory skills and expand the vocabulary.
- The rhythmic integration and movement helps strengthen the brain.
So, with all of these amazing benefits, I’ve decided to do a little series featuring various nursery rhymes. And today’s post is all about Humpty Dumpty!
You can grab your own copy at the very bottom of this post, so keep an eye out.
Humpty Dumpty Printable
This printable is super simple and can be used in a lot of different ways! But it is a small portion of a much larger lesson plan (that I’ll tell you more about below).
Here’s a little sneak peek:
Set-Up for The Humpty Dumpty Printable
As I mentioned before, the set-up for this activity is really a breeze. Read through the activity ideas I’ve outlined first, and then be sure to get your own copy of the printable at the bottom of this post.
Once you’ve got your printable, download it to your computer. I’d suggest saving a copy as well, in case you need it down the road or want to have more than one copy.
Next, open the file on your computer. You’re going to need the most up-to-date version of Adobe Reader for this. You may run into printing issues if you try opening the file in a web preview or other programs. And printing issues are no fun!
Related: Pat-A-Cake Printable
I would highly recommend running them both through a laminator. This will reduce wear and extend the life of your printed copies. Another option would be to place it inside a dry-erase pocket. Either option will help the shelf life of the printable.
Using The Humpty Dumpty Printable
Now that you have the printable ready, it’s time to introduce the poem to your class. Some students may have already heard of or know Humpty Dumpty by heart. And you may even have some students who have never heard of it. Either way, it’s perfectly fine!
You can use this time to let students who know the rhyme teach it to their peers who don’t. I think the kids would get a kick out of that! And you might just be surprised how well your students take on the responsibility of teaching.
Even if you do let the children teach each other, you’ll want to go over the poem with the group yourself as well. And the one-page poem is perfect for this.
It may seem like a daunting task to teach a rhyming poem, like Humpty Dumpty, to the students. But don’t worry! I have some great tips on how to teach rhyming poems to children. I’ve had a lot of success using this sequence:
- First, you say the rhyme aloud, making sure the students know to only listen.
- Then, prompt the students to be your “echo.” You say a line and then point to the kids and have them repeat it.
- After a few times with the children as your “echo,” see if they can run through the poem altogether!
- As with anything, repetition is key. So be sure to run through the poem with the students frequently.
And that’s it! Once the kids have a basic understanding of how the poem goes, pull out the sequencing cards. Then you can place them in a pocket chart as the class recites Humpty Dumpty together.
Humpty Dumpty Extension Activities
I know I’ve mentioned this a few times, but there are so many different ways to use the Humpty Dumpty printable. Of course, you can use it together with the class as I mentioned above.
But you can also use the sequencing cards as a team-building exercise for the kids, working together in small groups to put the cards in order. This is a great way to promote peer interaction and language skills.
And why not incorporate a STEM activity into your literacy lesson? Using a traditional egg for Humpty, let your little scientists engineer a way to keep the egg from breaking. Or try one of these other Humpty Dumpty “egg”-speriments!
We always assume Humpty is an egg, even though it’s not explicitly stated in the poem. But why not make up a science experiment that tests out a variety of items as Humpty, in place of the egg? Find out which ones will break versus which ones will not. Make sure to record the children’s hypotheses and the results of the experiment!
Take that science experiment a step further with a challenge. Using the broken items from the experiment, have the children work together to come up with ideas of how to “put Humpty together again!” Then let them try out their ideas.
Finally, you can always give the children a plastic egg, along with the sequencing cards, and have them recreate the poem. They can do this using blocks to build a wall, or even just a table or window sill. And they could use small people and horse figures for the end of the poem!
Of course, these are just a few ideas. The activities that can go along with the Humpty Dumpty printable are really endless!
Humpty Dumpty Nursery Rhyme
Many nursery rhymes have a variety of different versions. Sometimes this is due to regional differences when it comes to retelling the rhymes. Other times this is because of personal preferences or changes over time as the rhymes are passed down through generations.
When it comes to Humpty Dumpty, this seems to be the usual version in modern times (although if you have a different version, I’d love to hear it!):
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall.
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king’s horses and all the king’s men
Couldn’t put Humpty together again.
What is the Original Humpty Dumpty Poem About?
Many, but not all, nursery rhymes have some kind of story behind them. Quite often, the original meaning behind the rhymes is lost over time. And sometimes the meaning morphs through the ages.
When it comes to Humpty Dumpty, there are different thoughts on the meaning behind the rhyme. There doesn’t seem to be truly definitive proof for any of the possibilities, though. Here are some of the meanings I read about during my research:
- The term “Humpty Dumpty” used to refer to a larger person. So the thought is that the nursery rhyme’s main character was a big guy.
- Some postulate that he represents a particular person, specifically someone royal.
- There’s a theory that the rhyme wasn’t even about a person at all. Rather, it was based on a cannon (yes, a cannon) that was used during the Siege of Colchester.
All in all, I’m not entirely sure of the basis of the rhyme. But I found it VERY interesting to read about the suggestions that are out there!
Why is Humpty Dumpty an Egg?
I can’t write about Humpty Dumpty without touching on his most famous characterization, can I?! And that is . . . Humpty as an egg.
Think about it! When you picture this nursery rhyme in your head, don’t you visualize Humpty as an egg? It is the usual fallback when illustrating the rhyme at this point.
But the nursery rhyme never once mentions an egg. It doesn’t even allude to an egg. So where did this even come from?
I can definitively tell you the answer to this one. It’s all thanks to Lewis Carroll. He was the first known person to depict Humpty as an egg, in his book Through the Looking Glass in the late 1800s. Alas, I have no idea why Carroll went with an egg to begin with.
Humpty Dumpty Books and Videos
Finally, I wanted to include some other fun resources to use alongside your Humpty Dumpty printable! Here are a few Humpty Dumpty videos your preschoolers will surely enjoy:
Watch these children use their STEM skills in this video from CoComelon:
This slow and relaxed version from Super Simple Songs will really help the kids learn the poem:
Humpty Dumpty meets preschool math concepts in this video from CVS 3D Rhymes & Kids Songs:
And I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to share some book recommendations with you all. So, I’ve created a list of a few really fun Humpty Dumpty books. A few of these are an interesting twist on the classic nursery rhyme!
Humpty Dumpty Lesson Plans
As promised, here’s more information about the full Humpty Dumpty lesson plans from Preschool Teacher 101! This product contains over 150 pages of meaningful nursery rhyme lesson plans.
You’ll find a related book list, daily activity ideas for literacy, science, whole group, math, related printables, and much more!
For regular access to our products, put your name on the waitlist to become a member of The Pack from Preschool Teacher 101. In the meantime, check out some of our other nursery rhyme products by clicking on the images below.
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