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As students learn to notice, recognize and manipulate the letters, words and sounds of language, rhyme becomes an essential part of their literacy development. For this reason, lessons in rhyme should focus on not only what a rhyme is, but how to create a rhyme and how to identify a rhyming pattern. In this guide to rhyming lesson plans, educators and parents will find classroom ideas geared toward students of all ages. While some of the lessons are identified to be used with a particular grade level, many can be adapted for use with either older or younger classrooms.
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Rhymes in the Elementary Classroom
Since rhyming is a skill often taught in conjunction with learning to read, write and spell, educators will find that the majority of rhyming lesson plans have been developed for students in elementary classrooms. Below are lessons on how to teach rhyming, as well as a variety of activities designed for specific practice and to reinforce the concepts which have been learned.
- Teach Me How to Rhyme: Lesson Plans for Pre-K and Kindergarten Classrooms
- Rhyming Songs and Activities for 4K and 5K Students
- Making a Rhyming Book: Ideas for 4K - First Grade Classrooms
- 4K - First Grade Rhyming Lesson: Mitten Rhymes
- Halloween Fun With Rhyming Books
- "Hop on Pop!" A Lesson in Rhyme
- "Who's Sick Today": A Rhyming Lesson Plan
- "Cat in the Hat": Lessons in Rhyme
- A Rhyming Lesson for Christmas: "The Grinch"
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Lesson Plans for Using Nursery Rhymes in the Classroom
It should come as no surprise to learn that nursery rhymes are often tapped as an excellent resource for teaching students not only how to rhyme, but how to identify rhyming patters. Nursery rhymes, and their sing-songy nature, are prevalent in modern culture — often being utilized in stories, music, movies and on television. For students, the familiarity of a nursery rhyme provides background knowledge that is helpful in making the learning connections between sounds and print.
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Poetry in the Lower Grades
Using poetry in the classroom is another way to incorporate lessons about rhyming. While not all poetry rhymes, the initial introduction of poems in the classroom typically focuses on the rhyming verse. Here are a few ideas to get you started using poetry in the lower grades to make those rhyming connections, and help students to identify and create rhymes all on their own.
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Using Rhyme Across the Curriculum
While typically thought of in terms of language arts, rhyming lesson plans can also be used across the curriculum. Here are examples of ways in which a classroom teacher can carry the concept of rhymes into math and music — in addition to the more conventional lessons on reading and spelling.
- Phonological Awareness
- Rhyming Games for Reading Practice
- Rhyming Games to Practice Spelling
- Using Poems to Practice Sight Words: Information for Pre-K and Kindergarten Teachers
- Using a Rhyme to Teach Counting in Kindergarten
- Using Nursery Rhymes Across the Curriculum
- Using Bells in the Classroom to Teach Rhyming
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Lesson Plans for Middle School
As students move ahead in school, the focus of rhyming lessons shifts more toward learning how to analyze poetry. Middle school students are just beginning to blossom, however, and in doing so, often enjoy exploring their own creativity. Allow them to do so using the end of the year and shape poem lessons offered below.
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High School Lesson Plans
By high school, students will have a solid grasp of the rhyming concept, and will be readily able to identify rhyming patterns. The analysis of poetry becomes more in-depth, as themes and variations are explored. The rhyming lesson plans outlined below, while offered at the high school level, could also be easily adapted for use with honors coursework at the middle school level.
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Above all, students should be given the opportunity to explore and appreciate the playful nature of rhymes. From the lower grades through high school — from Dr. Seuss to Chaucer — examples of this playfulness abound. Embrace them in your teaching. It will give your students an entirely different perspective on the language they use.
Do you have a tried and true method for teaching rhymes, or a favorite rhyming lesson you would like to share? If so, be sure to visit the comments section below.
- The lessons in this guide were chosen based on the author's extensive experience as a K-12 classroom teacher.