Fruit Rhyme

Levels: 
A1 upwards
Teaching point: 
Pronunciation of plural endings
Theme: 
Fruit
Activity: 
Singing
Fruit Rhyme - hancockmcdonald.com/materials/fruit-rhyme

This is a rhyme designed to work over the melody of the French nursery rhyme Frère Jacques. The melody is represented by the position of the words on the musical stave. It is written to highlight the pronunciation of plural endings, which may be pronounced /s/, /z/ or /Iz/ - there are examples of each of these in the rhyme.

Stage 1: Traditional drilling
We can start working on this rhyme with a traditional drilling format. Notice that on each line in the song, there is a phrase repeated twice. This will work well with a call and respond drill format, with the teacher calling out each phrase and the class echoing with the repetition. You can choose to do this without the melody to begin with, and add it in gradually (or not at all, depending on how you feel about singing!).
Stage 2: Micro-drilling
At this point, you can start to break the phrases down into smaller segments. These may include words or only parts of words. You may call out the following segments for the class to repeat, for example. I will write them as they are pronounced.
1 chiz
2 peachiz
3 am peachiz
4 zam peachiz
5 pear zam peachiz
6 pear zampear zampear zampear
7 chizampea chizampea chizampea
Notice that the segments do not necessarily correspond to words. For example, 1 has only the 2nd syllable of peaches, and 4 has only the last phoneme in pears,  followed by the reduced form of and, and peaches. Breaking the sound substance down into unexpected fragments is an important part of micro-drilling, since the objective is to make it sound strange.
Segments 1-5 are single phrases, but we can also use multiple repetitions of very short segments, as in 6 and 7. These produce a gestalt loop, where nonsense words seem to emerge out of the sound substance. This amplifies the ‘making-it-strange’ effect.
Stage 3: Putting it all together
As a final stage, return to the complete rhyme. Get the class to chant or sing it all together, or with half the class singing the call and the other half echoing with the repeat.
Stage 4 (optional): Nonsense words
Write chizampea on the board. Say it repeatedly and ask the class to repeat until they can identify the hidden fruit (peaches). Write a couple more nonsense words on the board such as zampear and jizanorin. Ask the class to identify the hidden fruit in these. Finally, let learners create their own nonsense words out of repeated fruit and vegetables, for example onions and onions to zanunyun.

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