Use this free Row, Row, Row Your Boat printable poem and sequencing cards set with your preschoolers. Using simple nursery rhymes help children explore a variety of important early literacy skills.
Related: Hickory Dickory Dock Printable
Admit it, you already have the song stuck in your head, don’t you? I know it’s running through mine as I type this! Since I’m in my 40s, that has to tell you something about the lasting knowledge of nursery rhymes. Of course, I’ve also been exposed to more children’s songs in adulthood than non-teachers and non-parents have, but who’s counting? Plus, you’re in there with me, right?!
Row Row Row Your Boat Printable
I put together a small (and free!) printable about this classic chant for you. Bonus: it is super easy to prep! Even though it’s pretty simple, the poem and sequencing cards can be used in a multitude of ways. I’ll share more about that below.
Be sure to grab your own copy via the form near the bottom of this post.
Related: Humpty Dumpty Printable
Materials You Might Want
Here are a few printable prepping must-haves that will come in handy as you get the Row, Row, Row Your Boat printable ready for the kids (I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post):
- Scissors (or paper cutter)
- Laminating pouches
- Dry erase pocket (as an alternative)
Optional supplies you might want to grab if you are extending the Row, Row, Row Your Boat fun:
- Sensory bin and filler
- Toy boats (try to say that 5 times fast)
- Play dough
- Blue glass gems
How to Prep the Row Your Boat Printable
Start off by getting your copy of the printable near the bottom of this post. You’ll get an email with the download links. Download the Row, Row, Row Your Boat printable to your computer. Be sure to save an extra copy if you need to!
Open the printable in the most up-to-date version of Adobe Reader. Other PDF programs, or the web previews, can make printing an annoying mess. Then print that puppy out!
Keep the poem itself as-is, and cut the sequencing cards apart. I recommend laminating each of the pieces so you can use them over and over again with your students. If you prefer, you can place the poem in a dry erase pocket and just laminate the sequencing cards. That’s up to you!
Then you’re ready to get the kids together and delve into a favorite rhyme.
Related: Five Green and Speckled Frogs Printable
Using the Printable with Students
Some (or all!) of your students might already know this chant, while others might not. (Some children might think they know the rhyme but get tripped up on the words. One of my cousins used to think it was, “Mary, Mary, Mary, Mary, life is but a dream!” He thought it was about me rowing a boat!) Either way, the Row, Row, Row Your Boat printable poem and cards can help engage the kids!
Even if most of the children know the rhyme, model singing or chanting it to them. Point to the words on the poem page as you do so. Once you’ve gone through it, encourage the children to be your echo. Sing one line, and then point to the kids so they can repeat the line. Finally, encourage the children to sing the song all the way through together. Depending on the needs of your students, this can be done one right after the other. Or you might want to spread the process out over a couple of days.
Then it’s time to break out the Row Your Boat sequencing cards. Place the cards in a pocket chart, out of order, and work with the children to put the cards in order. Let the children take turns helping you, with the rest of the children singing the song to help prompt those sequencing.
Related: Printable Nursery Rhymes Journal
Other Variations to Consider
Like I said earlier, you really can use the Row, Row, Row Your Boat printable in multiple ways. I outlined the most basic way to use it above. But now I want to delve into some additional ways to use it:
- Teach the children some basic motions to go along with Row Your Boat. Use the sequencing prompts as visual cues for the motions.
- Place the sequencing cards in a stream-themed sensory bin. This doesn’t have to be fancy – just pop in your favorite blue sensory materials. The kids can pull out the cards before sequencing them.
- Use the poem and cards during small groups or centers. Challenge the children to work together and put the cards in order. Encourage them to sing or chant as they do so.
- Let the children make up their own lyrics to the tune! If they feel like sharing, give them the chance to do so.
- Set up a small world play around the poem. Grab some small boat and people toys and place them near a tub of water or a tray with blue sensory materials.
Related: Pat-A-Cake Printable
Row Row Row Your Boat Lyrics
You probably already know the lyrics to Row, Row, Row Your Boat, but here they are in case you need a little refresher.
Row, row, row
Life is but a dream.
That’s it! Just one stanza makes this song short, sweet, and easy to remember. But you may have heard some of the riffs on the song over the years – there have been plenty of variations made up. As I mentioned above, it might a fun activity to get the kids involved in making up your own class version of the song!
Row Row Row Your Boat Meaning
What is the meaning of Row, Row, Row your Boat? While most people agree that the song is a metaphor for life itself, apparently there are all sorts of theories as to what the different lines mean specifically.
This site goes a little bit deeper into the uplifting message behind the rhyme as encouraging people to keep moving forward and stay positive.
Row Your Boat Videos and Books
As always, I love to round out our lesson plans with book and video recommendations. Adding in different media and materials brings what you’re teaching to life in a different way.
Check out the following resources I’ve put together for your convenience. If you weren’t singing the song before, watching these videos will ensure you are for the rest of the day!
This video gives you the ASL signs that go along with Row, Row, Row Your Boat, and they are simple enough to teach your preschoolers:
Here’s another ASL version that you can learn alongside your kids:
This is a sweet animated version of Row, Row, Row Your Boat, with on-screen lyrics so kids can get a feel for seeing the words as they are sung.
Preschoolers will enjoy seeing all of the water creatures in this real life version of Row, Row, Row Your Boat. The song is sung in the intended style of a round, so you can point that out to the kids as well!
And finally, we have a Peppa Pig version of Row, Row, Row Your Boat, that is sure to make all the kids want to sing along!
Related: Little Miss Muffet Printable
Row Row Row Your Boat Preschool Lesson Plans
If you love this simple printable for kids, you’re definitely going to love Preschool Teacher 101’s Row, Row, Row Your Boat lesson plans! It comes with weekly plans, detailed daily lessons, center activities, book suggestions, and related printables. It’s all ready for your own preschool classroom. Click on the photo below to get yours:
Free Row Row Row Your Boat Printable
How about that free printable? Ready to get your hands on it so you can enjoy Row, Row, Row Your Boat with your kids? Great! The printable is yours if you’re a member of Fun-A-Day’s (free!) email community. If you’re not a member, sign up right here by popping your email address in the box below, and your printable will be sent right over as a welcome gift! You can unsubscribe at any time, but you probably won’t want to miss all of the preschool ideas and free printables like this one.
If you can’t see the above form, check it out here.
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