30 Listen to the rhyme.


Listen to the rhyme.

View Big Book.

Young children who have opportunities to hear and recite nursery rhymes and poems become aware of an important fact about language—some words sound alike. Since a big part of early literacy is the ability to recognize similar sounds and to differentiate between unlike sounds, hearing and reciting rhymes moves these children along the path to becoming independent readers and writers. This unit offers many opportunities for children to listen to, read, and write rhymes—especially nursery rhymes.

About the Picture Spot listens to familiar nursery rhymes and envisions what he hears.

Major Concepts

  • Nursery rhymes are an important part of a young child’s literary heritage.
  • Hearing and understanding rhyming elements in words is evidence of phonemic awareness in early readers and writers.
  • Nursery rhymes have rhythm and rhyme.

Daily Lesson Planning

Day 1

  1. Display "Listen to the rhyme." Ask children to point to the nursery-rhyme characters and recite the rhymes they know. Introduce, or elicit from the children, other nursery rhymes, and recite these, also.
  2. Begin writing some of the nursery rhymes on chart paper so they are available for reading. Be sure to write with the children, allowing volunteers to write some of the words.
  3. Implement “Listen to the rhyme” (BB 74).

Days 2-6

Choose from the following:

  • Implement “Writers enjoy reading and writing rhyming words” (BB 75).
  • Continue making copies of nursery rhymes with the children. Circle the rhyming words and add illustrations.
  • Have each child draw a favorite character in a nursery-rhyme scene and write the character’s name. When the pages are finished, put them together in a class book entitled “Nursery-Rhyme Time.”
  • Invite children to recite the rhyme “Rain, rain, go away . . . .” Implement "Rainy-Day Friends."
  • With your students, make up rhyming phrases about animals. Then have them copy and illustrate some of these rhymes. (Examples: a mouse in a house; kittens with mittens; a frog on a log; a cat wearing a hat; a bug on a mug; and so on.)
  • With frequent exposure to rhyming words, children will begin to recognize and read them. Use "Rhyme Sort" to show how rhyming words end the same way. Have children cut these words apart and sort them. Also invite partners to combine their word sets for a memory game. Note: Some children may want to create their own sets of rhyming words.

Concluding Days

  1. Reread some of your classroom rhyming big books. Have the children point out the rhyming words.
  2. Have children share what they have learned about rhymes and rhyming words.
LAFS Standard:
TEKS Standard:
NE ELA Standard:

Related Resource Tags

Click to view a list of tags that tie into other resources on our site

English Language Arts:

Additional Activities

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 familiar rhymes.

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.

LAFS Standard:
TEKS Standard:
NE ELA Standard:

Related Resource Tags

Click to view a list of tags that tie into other resources on our site

English Language Arts: