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Teacher Tips and Answers

Analyzing the Sound of Poetry

As you know, a poem is not the same as a short story or a novel. One big difference is that poetry plays with the sounds of words. Different techniques create different sounds. When you read a poem, listen for these kinds of sounds.

Alliteration is using the same beginning consonant sound.

The burrow delves down dark and deep

Where slinking creatures go to sleep.

Assonance is repeating vowel sounds within words.

In a yellow casserole

A green bean makes a scene.

Onomatopoeia occurs when a word sounds like what it describes.

The ladle dripped atop my roll

And splashed the soup inside my bowl.

Repetition is using a word or phrase again to draw attention to it or to create rhythm.

The white dove in the white snow

Waits for the white-out winds to go.

Rhyme refers to repeating the end sounds of words, often at the end of lines.

If you would show some gratitude

Instead of so much attitude,

You wouldn’t hear a platitude

About your lack of manners, dude.

Rhythm refers to creating a pattern of stressed and unstressed sounds in a line of poetry.

If you would show some gratitude

Instead of so much attitude,

You wouldn’t hear a platitude

About your lack of manners, dude.

Closely read a poem.

Read the following wintry poem, focusing on the sounds it creates.

This lesson is a part of the Reading and Writing for Literature Assessment unit.

Click the title to view more information about this unit and a full list of lessons that are included.

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