Rhyming and Alliteration
A good place to begin is with rhyming and alliteration pre k songs. Teaching phonemic awareness is enhanced by identifying when words rhyme and why. A traditional children's rhyming song is "Down by the Bay." The lyrics typically go something like this (with the words in parentheses sung as an echo between two people or just a repeated verse if a person is singing alone):
"Down by the bay, (down by the bay,)
Where the watermelons grow, (where the watermelons grow,)
Back to my home, (back to my home,)
I dare not go, (I dare not go,)
For if I do, (for if I do,)
My mother will say (my mother will say):"
The next line is where the rhyming occurs:
"Did you ever see a _____, _____a _____", with rhyming words filling in the blanks. For example, one might way:
- "Did you ever see a cat, wearing a hat?"
- "Did you ever see a goat, eating a boat?"
- "Did you ever see a dog, sit on a hog?"
- "Did you ever see a goose, playing with a goose?"
"Did you ever see a bear, combing his hair?"
Finally, the last line is a repeat of the first: "Down by the bay."
For a recording to be used in the classroom you may wish to try the version sung by Raffi. His 1976 album Singable Songs for the Very Young is full of pre k songs. Phonemic awareness is actually promoted through several songs on that particular album, including Robin in the Rain, Five Little Frogs and Willoughby Wallaby Woo.