Grade: Elementary
Subject: Language

#2555. William Matrimmatoe

Language, level: Elementary
Posted Tue Apr 9 12:52:10 PDT 2002 by Teresa Jones (
Perry Elementary, Perry, USA
Materials Required: A Group of Children
Activity Time: 15 to 20 minutes
Concepts Taught: Game for Teaching syllables

In the book, My Great-Aunt Arizona, Gloria Houston mentions the children play William Matrimmatoe at recess. Our class found this old-fashioned game on the Internet and added it to our Morning Meeting. We all agree it has helped us understand syllables better than ever.

Children stand in a circle and hold hands out in front of them. One child is "it" in the middle. The one in the middle touches hands as s(he) says each syllable of the chant and going around the circle.

William Matrimmatoe Chant

William Matrimmatoe
He's a good fisherman.
He catches hens,
Puts them in pens.
Some lay eggs.
Some lay none.
William Matrimmatoe
He's a good fisherman.
Wire, briar, limber, lock.
Three geese in a flock.
One flew east.
One flew west.
One flew over the cuckoo's nest.
Wire, briar, limber, lock.
Out goes you, old dirty dish rag, you.

(Folk Game)