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Britannica online Essay

This is a book proposal that has been created to ensure the children of today are still exposed to the same childhood experiences that we all had years ago. In today’s society we are much more fast paced and immediately are drawn to electronics such as computers, television, movies, ipods, etc… The numbing effect of this constant barrage of information on very young children could lead to a sort of deterioration of values in a small child. Proposed title: Back to the Basics: A Collection of Nursery Rhymes for Today’s Child

Introduction: Many of us picked up our own sets of values and morals from what had been passed down to us through tradition. A Nursery Rhyme is a poem or a song, traditionally taught to very young children. Nursery Rhymes in the English language are usually British in origin, dating back to as far as the 16th Century. Aside from the ones imported from England, many Nursery Rhymes also developed in North America (Encyclopedia Britannica online, 2008). These little songs and poems form a sort of symbolic “backbone” to the continuing cultural and psychological development of the American people and culture.

Indeed, at its very core, a Nursery Rhyme is a sort of cultural footprint. While most oral tradition (ex: nursery rhymes) may sound more like nonsense or oversimplified, moralistic tales set to a rhythm and a tune, they carry the symbolic weight of generations past (Bettelheim, 1976). Passed on through tradition and brought alive by the imaginations of the very children who hear them and pass them on, these rhymes bear the values of the culture that created it. For example, Humpty Dumpty’s story reminds us that there are some things that, once broken, can never be mended.

In another example, the Itsy Bitsy Spider speaks to us of the value of perseverance. Sometimes, a Nursery Rhyme isn’t just a moral legacy, but a historical one as well: showing us how people lived or worked during the particular time when these rhymes were created. For example, while shepherding may no longer be a common profession, especially in heavily populated urban areas, even children from the inner city are aware that it was once a way of life, thanks to Little Bo Peep and her sheep.

Rationale: Nursery Rhymes have been in existence for hundreds of years, but what exactly is the importance in continuing in this tradition? Children are automatically drawn into these stories because of the rhyme, there is rhythm, and they are often about creatures in otherwise unimaginable circumstances, which leads the child’s own imagination to wander. In addition to being an effective vehicle through which a culture propagates and preserves itself, Nursery Rhymes are of particular importance in the development of a young child’s growing language and memory skills.

There is a reason that today, even after growing up; we can still remember these little phrases. They have made great impact in our childhood learning schemata and we believe that if they continue to be reintroduced to the children of today, their impact would be highly beneficial. We believe that this book will be a great hit among small children and their parents, and that with the aid of colorful illustrations, this book can be very useful in promoting a child’s mental, psychological, and social development.

Methodology: After much deliberation, we decided to limit our selection to the most common and well-loved Nursery Rhymes. We looked through several collections of nursery rhymes, both online and offline, and picked out the ones that occurred the most frequently. Given that we plan to make this book a children’s book, we limited our selection to only four Nursery Rhymes. We chose to do this so that the book could accommodate the illustrations that we hope will be included as visual aids for the children, without being too heavy or cumbersome for even a small child to read and carry.

These Nursery Rhymes are as follows: Humpty Dumpty: 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. Jack and Jill Jack and Jill went up the hill, To fetch a pail of water. Jack fell down and broke his crown. And Jill came tumbling after The Itsy Bitsy Spider The Itsy Bitsy Spider Climbed up the water spout. Down came the rain And washed the spider out. Out came the sun And dried up all the rain, And the itsy bitsy spider Climbed up the spout again.

Little Bo Peep Little Bo-Peep has lost her sheep, And can’t tell where to find them. Leave them alone, And they’ll come home, Wagging their tails behind them. Thank you very much for taking the time to read and consider this. We look forward to your timely and positive reply!

References

Bettelheim, Bruno (1976). Uses of Enchantment: the Importance of Fairy Tales. New York: Knopf Encyclopedia Britannica online, concise version. Nursery Rhymes. retrieved February 3 2008. from http://www. britannica. com/ebc/article-9373775


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