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 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: