These activities offer options for continuing the learning in this unit. Whether your curriculum is skill-based or more open-ended, select the activities that are most appropriate for the children in your classroom. The Writing Spot is primarily a writing program, but writing can be integrated throughout your curriculum—in art, drama, reading, math, and science.
Recite rhymes for the children, but stop just before saying the rhyming words.
Jack and Jill went up the _________ .
Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great _______ .
After the children give you the rhyming word, write it on the board (hill, fall). Add other rhyming words to each list.
Start word-family rhyming lists.
Make large outline pictures of items that represent rhyming families—hat, bug, hill, cake. Label the pictures and place them in the writing center. Ask the children to add rhyming words and/or pictures to these outlines.
Clap out nursery-rhyme rhythms.
As children recite nursery rhymes, practice the rhythm of each by clapping out the syllables (for example, one clap for “Jack,” and two claps for “Humpty”).
Play a rhyming-word game.
Play this game with the class. You show a card containing a simple word that is easy to rhyme, and the children respond with rhyming words. Continue with other cards. Keep such card sets in the writing center for pairs or small groups to play this game on their own.
Sing songs with words that rhyme.
Plan a sing-along to celebrate songs that have rhyming words. In addition to well-known nursery rhyme songs, use counting songs—“The Ants Go Marching,” “This Old Man,” “Five in a Bed,” “Twenty Bottles of Pop on the Wall.” Ask children to teach their favorite rhyming songs to the class.
Make a class motto that rhymes.
Share this example motto of a Florida class: “We live in the Florida sun. Our class thinks that learning is fun.” Do a shared writing to create a motto for your class. The only rule is that the sentences must rhyme. Afterward, display your class motto in the classroom.
Do skits and plays about rhymes.
Do choral readings of rhymes that can be acted out—“There Was a Crooked Man,” for example. Have children find all the rhyming words. Ask questions: What does “crooked” mean? How long is a mile? What is a sixpence? What is a stile? Allow children to act out this rhyme. Remember to include the stile and the house as characters. The house can be made by two children holding hands above their heads to make a door as they stand in a crooked way. Have children draw the crooked cat and crooked mouse and name each one.
Use sound words in rhymes.
Read rhymes that use sound words—“Baa, Baa, Black Sheep,” “Hark, Hark, the Dogs Do Bark,” “A Cat Came Fiddling,” “Hickory Dickory Dock.” Have children make the sound effects as the rhyme is read. Do a shared-writing activity to create more rhymes with sound words. Consider giving the children the first line of a couplet and having them write the finishing line. For example, you write, “Honk, honk, little car,” and the children answer, “Don’t go fast. Don’t go far.”
Build with words that rhyme.
Prepare a number of sets of rhyming word cards—cat, sat, fat, rat; man, can, fan, ran; and so on. The total number of cards should match the number of children doing the activity. Mix up the cards and have each child choose one. Then have children find the classmates who have words that rhyme with theirs. Once the teams are together, challenge each to write something using the rhyming words on their cards.
Write notes with words that rhyme.
Invite children to leave rhyming notes for family members. Examples: I cannot wait. Do not be late. Do not worry. I will hurry. Can we have fun when the work is done? Provide models for the children. The goal is to share a message with words that rhyme. Phonetic spelling should be permitted.