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The dark side of nursery rhymes
Skip to main content. Advertisement Hide. The role of sensitivity to rhymes, phonemes and tones in reading english and chinese pseudowords. This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access. Hong Kong Education Department Syllabuses for primary schools: English language primary Hong Kong: Hong Kong Government.
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Phonological processes in literacy: A tribute to Isabelle Y. But the salience of the sensory impression alone would arouse us, kindling consciousness at the same time so that both the image and the rhyme stay with us for a lifetime.
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Mirror, mirror, tell me, Am I pretty or plain? Or am I downright ugly And ugly to remain? Shall I marry a gentleman? Shall I marry a clown? Or shall I marry old Knives-and-Scissors Shouting through the town? Here is youthful curiosity again, looking toward the future at the possibilities for engagement it might offer. The issue seems to be driven more by wonder than anxiety: what will be my lot in life when I grow up? The one approaching the mirror is asking what fate has in store for her, not what she can bring about for herself. Old Knives and Scissors would be every bit as worthy as clown or gentleman.
The Ideological Role of Chinese Children’s Rhymes and Poems in the Twentieth Century
The culture she is growing into is preparing her to accept her fate however it turns out. In the meantime, we all know that we all can affect our fates by how we choose to make ourselves happen as we go. He loves me.
He would if he could. The numbers here count petals being plucked from a flower. The issue is decided when the last petal is reached. This simple procedure of keying answers to a finite number of questions is a crude device meant as an aid to reviewing indeterminate issues. The point is not to settle the issue but to bring possible solutions to the forefront of attention. The benefit flows from playing with the engagement itself in a lighthearted manner as if it could be settled once and for all.
Turning life decisions into simple routines is a means of dealing with underlying uncertainties. Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall. Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. This rhyme is a reminder that some engagements come to a bad end. No matter what resources you bring into play, things will never work out.
Keeping in mind an image of Humpty as an egg drives home the message: some things are best scrambled. Jack Sprat could eat no fat, His wife could eat no lean; And so betwixt them both, you see, They licked the platter clean. The message here is that complementary engagements promote harmony amid diversity.
This rhyme embraces the engagement between people and those of the arachnid persuasion, assuming the prescriptive weight of a proverb or aphorism. Committed to memory, it reminds us at sight of a spider that it takes many creatures to build a world, including weavers of intricate webs who happen to eat insects. Again, the voice of conventional wisdom aimed at little ears for rote memorization as a guide to subsequent restraint. This rhyme reinforces recitation of the days of the week in proper sequence by linking it to the natural order of life events. The drama and fun here come from the compression of major life events into the span of a single week, making the sequence of days all the more memorable.
It helps to have all the lines end with the same sound and share the same rhythm. Ever after this rhyme is learned, engagements will seem naturally to accord with the days of the week.
It followed her to school one day, That was against the rule; It made the children laugh and play, To see a lamb in school. And so the teacher turned it out, But still it lingered near, And waited patiently about Till Mary did appear. Why does the lamb love Mary so? The eager children cry; Why, Mary loves the lamb, you know, The teacher did reply. Engagements have rules, it turns out. Lambs are OK at home, but not at school. The narrative unfolds from a brief description of the lamb to telling what it did one day, what happened next, and ends with an insight as to why things went as they did, brought home by a simple question.
This rhyme is a paradigm for building a story that has characters, action, consequences, and a message. Rhyme and meter help make it memorable for use in future engagements or writing assignments.