I give popcorn points as a reward for my tables of students showing good behavior. I write them on the board. The table with the most points gets to have popcorn for their snack on Friday afternoon. This way they learn how to tally and count tally marks without me really teaching them!
I am very fortunate to have a smart board, so we do it on that, but you could use chart paper also. One Everday Math activity is to drop a penny in a cup ( I have a tin one, but a regular cup should work too) and for each "ding" they hear to mark down tallies. You could also do a guessing jar...a child brings a number of objects that fit in a plastic bag (under 100) and everyone makes an estimate of the number. Count and tally the amount. We always count tallies...1, 2, 3, 4, cross on 5...6, 7, 8, 9, cross on 10...etc.
I do table points for good behavior. Tables have to earn twenty tallies so that they can eat lunch in the classroom and watch cartoons. So, that helps them learn it quickly.
Also, we play "Toss & Tally". We're all on the same team and we tally the number of hits and misses. The students just take turns tossing a ball into a bucket. I keep score the first couple of times, then I let my two helpers for the day do it. The kids love it!
Some things I use - As part of our daily calendar routine, we use tallies to record the date and the days in school and compare them. Each Friday, we count and compare the growing number of marbles in the jar.
Other activities: give them snack size baggies with M&Ms or Goldfish crackers, etc. The kids need to sort into groups of 5, then record the tallies before they can eat.
For small groups: put small items (pattern pieces, dice, dominoes, books, pennies, crayons, etc.) into containers and let one child count while the others record the amount. Have those in the group compare their numbers. Rotate to the next group, new child is 'the counter'. Good practice and keeps them busy!
I write a daily morning message on chart paper. At the bottom I always ask a question of the day. At the start of the year I record their answers using tallies. As the year goes on the students take turns recording and counting the tallies. Our Special Person of the day takes home the morning message.
I like the rhymes.
I use popsicle sticks to teach the concept so they can really visualize (and easily change) their answers. The EDM trick of dropping coins and placing sticks usually works with popsicle sticks for most of the students and then the few that aren't catching on, i work with individually. Good luck!