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Alliteration -- Poetry Lesson

written by: Kellie Hayden • edited by: Donna Cosmato • updated: 4/5/2012

Poetry is difficult for some students to write. One fun poetry technique to discuss and to write is alliteration. It adds pizazz to any poem or prose. Once students learn it, they will love playing with words. The following lesson will teach the technique of alliteration.

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    To teach alliteration, teachers need to define the poetry technique and give many examples. This poetry element can be quite fun to teach. You can start with fun children’s poems by Mother Goose, such as "Peter Piper." Tongue twisters are a great introduction to this literary element.

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    Review Poetry Technique

    Before jumping into writing poetry, teachers need to review this poetry element.

    Alliteration -- The repetition of consonants at the beginning of words in poetry or any writing.

    Examples of Alliteration:

    • Bobby broke his bat at Bart's house.
    • Sugar makes the sauce sweet.
    • The worm wiggled when we touched its wet skin.
    • The pots and pans were Peter's prized possessions.

    Example Alliterative Poem -- Share the poem and discuss with the students the examples of alliteration. Tell the students that most poetry will only have one or two lines that use this technique. This poem was created specifically to showcase the poetry technique.

    Sea Suprise Alliteration Sea Surprise

    The swimmers swam and searched the sea

    Special sea shells hid beneath the sand

    Children catch small creatures and set them free

    Screaming, splashing and skipping to the land

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    Poetry & Drawing Activity

    The following activity can be fun and students can add drawing to their funny alliterations as well.

    1. Make student handouts with one capital letter per page. The letter should be centered and large.
    2. Each student should be given a different letter if possible.
    3. Tell students to write four to six lines that start with the letter. Each line could be one word or more words that start with the letter. These words should form a sentence or tell a simple story. Students can add color and pictures if time permits. Teachers can post the best pictures and poems.
    4. These can be silly and fun. Have students share them with other students.
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    Write & Share a Poem

    The following activity includes a paired activity. Students need to write a poem using the poetry technique and then trade their poem and find it in another student's poem.

    1. Tell students to choose a topic that they like.
    2. Ask students to write a six line poem. The poem should use alliteration, using one letter, like in the example poem. There should be at least six words that start with the same consonant within the poem.
    3. Students should trade their poem with one other person. Each person should find the examples of alliteration in the other person's poem.

    When the students have completed their poems, ask them to read the the poetry aloud to the class. Give candy for the most whimsical or interesting poem. Students should now be ready to find alliteration in published poems.

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    References/resources:

    Alliteration, http://www.tnellen.com/cybereng/lit_terms/alliteration.html

    Basic Poetry Terms, http://www.kristisiegel.com/poetry.htm

    Photo credit: Kellie Hayden