Last school year my good friend and colleague, Mrs. Sunshine, and I tried Rhyme a Week with our Kindergarten ESL students. We did some research about rhyming and phonological awareness with English Language Learners and decided to try Rhyme a Week. Mrs. Sunshine and I substituted a few of the rhymes/poems and didn't do every activity, but used almost all of the rhyming/word family words.
Our students LOVED learning and acting out the nursery rhymes. Watching them reminded us of how much background knowledge we as middle class Americans take for granted. Both Mrs. Sunshine and I had recited these nursery rhymes with our own children when they were young, but the rhymes were all new to our students. Some of their favorites were "Jack and Jill", "Jack Be Nimble", and "Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater." (However, they did NOT want us to act out "This Little Piggy Went to Market" with their toes! Mrs. Sunshine and I took off our shoes and socks to demonstrate how to do the toe wiggling. We demonstrated with each other's toes and with a willing fifth grade girl helper. But, when it came time for kindergarten volunteers, not a single one of the eleven students would participate! Not. A. Single. One! Go figure! Mrs. Sunshine and I had a good laugh about it later.)
We were pleased with the results from implementing Rhyme a Week and plan to start again in November. If you aren't familiar with it, take a look.