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Five Teaching Ideas for Acquiring Alliteration Abilities

written by: Sarah Malburg • edited by: Trent Lorcher • updated: 2/6/2012

Alliteration is astounding to students. This easy writing tactic is fun to learn and use. Use these ideas to keep your class entertained while writing. The sillier the better!

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    What is Alliteration?

    Alliteration is the repetition of a consonant sound at the beginning of words or within words. The words can be right next to each other or spaced out, and generally at least two words are needed for alliteration. A good example of alliteration are tongue twisters. Alliteration is often used in poetry to create unity and a musical or rhythmic effect.

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    I. Silly Name Game

    Many of us have been a part of the icebreaker game where you add an adjective to your name such as acrobatic Amanda or dancing Dave. Ask students to brainstorm adjectives that start with the same letter as their first name.

    Pick one adjective that describes them and introduce themselves using that adjective. After this quick activity, provide students with a copy of a poem or excerpt from a piece of literature and tell them to highlight as many examples of alliteration as they can find. Review the examples together.

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    II. Tongue Twisters

    Provide students with a few examples of tongue twisters such as, "Sally sells seashells by the seashore" or " Bertha Benton blew, big blue bubbles." Ask the students if they know any other tongue twisters that they'd like to share with the class.

    Encourage the students to identify the alliteration in each tongue twister. The assignment is to make up tongue twisters about objects, famous people, places or fictional people and places. The students will select their favorite tongue twister and share with the class, explaining the alliteration.

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    III. Alphabet Assignments

    Assign each student a letter of the alphabet. Students will write sentences using their letter. Each sentence must have a subject, verb, describing words and be alliterative. An illustration should accompany each sentence. Integrate technology into this lesson by asking students to transfer their sentences and illustrations into a power point presentation.

    If using this option, make sure students know how to use power point or provide a brief presentation on the basics such as graphics, transitions and inserting text boxes. Compile all the slides into a class slide show and view together.

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    IV. Poetry Writing

    Write poetry using alliteration. After introducing and reviewing alliteration, ask students to create an original poem using alliteration. Require the students to use at least five different examples of alliteration.

    Encourage students to write types poetry previously studied in class. Consider putting the poetry together in a book. Adapt this assignment for younger students by asking them to write sentences with alliteration. Consider the abilities and ages of the students when determining the number of required sentences and examples of alliteration.

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    V. Picture Activity

    Write alliterations based on pictures. Provide students with various types of pictures. Pictures from old calendars are a great resource. Ask students to describe the picture in a few sentences, including three alliterations.

    Pass the pictures around the room so each student has a chance to see three different pictures. At the end of class, hold up the picture and share a few of the descriptions with alliterations.