F. Meaning of Hickory Dickory Dock – Hickory, the Mouse Learns About Time

Hickory, the Mouse Learns About Time

As Hickory wakes up and follows a typical day at school, he discovers that the clock and time move him through his day. Young children will love this new twist on the traditional Mother Goose Rhyme of Hickory, Dickory, Dcok. Moreover, this creative teaching resource will help students learn to read. They will be able to recite a fun rhyming text while tracking each word.

The resource includes a printable 20 page guided reading book and a PowerPoint Show of the book. In addition, the text is easy for young readers to recite, track, and read.  Additionally, the book includes full-color illustrations by award-winning author and illustrator, Dawn Stephens that also visually explain shadows and lights.

You can download this creative teacher resource and print an individual book for each student. Further, the PowerPoint Show can be projected on a large screen and allow the students to read the story as a group. Certainly, this resource will allow you to teach reading and science at the same time.



Meaning of Hickory Dickory Dock

What is the meaning of Hickory Dickory Dock? We know it is a nursery rhyme about a mouse who runs up and down a clock. He runs up the clock and when the clock strikes, he runs down. This beloved rhyme dates back to the 19th century and has a few theories to its meaning. See this short analysis.

Words to Hickory Dickory Dock

The original rhyme goes like this:

Hickory, Dickory, Dock,

The mouse ran up the clock;

The clock struck one,

The mouse ran down,

Hickory, Dickory Dock.

A Mouse named Hickory

When using this rhyme in kindergarten and preschool classrooms to help children learn counting and numbers, I would ask the children what they thought Hickory Dickory Dock meant. Young children often define made-up words in a very creative manner. Once a young five-year-old told me they thought Hickory Dickory Dock was the mouse’s full name. He had three names, a first, middle, and last name. Therefore, he thought the mouse did too. That theory seemed sensible to him and personally, I thought it adorable. After that, the children would ask to do the rhyme about HIckory, the Mouse. I think by giving the mouse a name, the students immediately felt more attached to him.

Learning about Time

In these early years, children can learn to read an analog clock. Our world rarely uses these devices and older children often struggle with the concept of how to count seconds, minutes, and hours. It is important, however, that children learn the purpose of keeping time, not just how to do it.  This is why this creative teaching resource uses the Hickory Dickory Dock rhyme to teach a schedule as well as time to the hour. Each hour, Hickory, the Mouse is completing a different task of his day.

7:00, he wakes up.

8:00 he eats breakfast.

9:00 he arrives at school.

10:00 he is doing his reading and writing.

11:00 he is playing outside

12:00, he eats lunch

1:00 he is doing Math.

2:00 he is in Science

and at 3:00, he goes home.

The DOWNLOADABLE book purposefully follows a typical school day, so children associate the reading of a clock with their daily routines.


In addition, here are six other books available that use traditional Mother Goose Rhymes to teach scientific concepts.

Here are links to the other “Mother Goose Meets Mother Nature” resources:

Jack and Jill Learn About Water

Humpty Dumpty Learns About Positions

Jack B. Nimble Learns About Shadows

Mary Learns About Animal Coverings

Little Miss Muffett Learns About Spiders

Mr. and Mrs. Sprat Learn About Foods


Let’s Connect





Additional information

Mother Goose Meets Mother Nature Books

Downloadable PDF book
instructions for how to print and bind
Powerpoint flipbook
movie of the flipbook being read


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F. Meaning of Hickory Dickory Dock – Hickory, the Mouse Learns About Time