Monday, January 10, 2022

"Hickory, dickory, dock": A Read-Aloud-Rhyme

Click to see Vol. I, Issue11 of the newsletter in which this article first appeared.

Listen to the audio of this article!

Parents and teachers can read these rhymes aloud, and encourage little ones to repeat and even memorize them (I did when I was a kid!) You can say or sing this one. (Hear the sung version on the audio version linked above.)

Hickory, dickory, dock!
The mouse ran up the clock.
The clock struck one,
The mouse ran down,
Hickory, dickory, dock!

You can add three (or more) verses, changing the number of "strikes" each time:

...The clock struck two...

...The clock struck three...

...The clock struck four...

and so on.


Some words to talk about:

  • Hickory, dickory, dock: This is "nonsense"--that is, it has no meaning.
  • struck: made the sound of a bell. Some old clocks "strike" a bell at each hour: one at one o'clock, two at two o'clock, and so on.


Here's some pretending! Before you start, ask your kid how he or she would "pretend" each of the lines. Then you can suggest doing the following things as you say the poem:

  • Hickory, dickory, dock!
       [tilt your head from side to side in time to the music]
  • The mouse ran up the clock.
       [hands at your sides, slowly raise them forward with your arms straight, until your hands are above your head]
  • The clock struck one,
       [clap your hands once above your head]
  • The mouse ran down,
       [lower your arms slowly, the same way you raised them]
  • Hickory, dickory, dock!
       [again, tilt your head from side to side in time to the music]

Of course, if you do "two," "three," "four," and so on, clap your hands the correct number of times.

Discussion: Can you think of other rhymes with "nonsense words"? Have you ever seen a mouse? Do you think one can get inside a clock? (Look at the clock in the picture!) What do you think a clock sounds like when it "strikes" each hour?

Please leave a comment - I can't WAIT to hear from you!