Early Literacy Storytime: Cumulative Songs

Being able to put the events in a story in sequential order is part of narrative skills. It’s related to comprehension skills because if you have a good understanding of a story or an event, you will be able to link the events or ideas together in order. Songs and books that introduce the idea of a cumulative list are one way to practice this skill with young children.

Some cumulative song ideas:

The Green Grass Grew All Around
I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly
Hole in the Middle of the Road
Fiddle-I-Fee
Rattlin’ Bog

If you choose to read a book, remember that these stories have a tendency to get pretty long, so practice first to see if it will fit well with your storytime plan.

Some cumulative book ideas are here.

After you share a cumulative book, song, or flannelboard with your children, share something like this with the adults: “Parents, when you read or sing cumulative books or songs with your children, they start to learn how to put ideas in order. This helps them become a good reader because sequencing events is one part of comprehension skills.”

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2 Responses to Early Literacy Storytime: Cumulative Songs

  1. Rick says:

    Wonderful! My absolute-favorite cumulative song is:
    I Had a Little Rooster
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qO2PF1Ivoi8&feature=related

    The order of the animals is so arbitrary. It’s great for the kids to help pick the next animal. It works a charm.

    I also occasionally end Aiken Drum with a cumulative exercise, asking the audience to help me remember all of the different parts of Aiken Drum….

    And his hair was made of x, and his chin was made of y, and his nose was made of z… etc.

    Again, it’s works well because you can pull in the kids to help tell the story (by asking them about their favorite/least favorite foods and then assigning the food to Aiken Drum’s part).

  2. Melissa says:

    Thanks Rick! That’s a new one for me, hooray, so I will check it out!

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