Lesson: Alliteration

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Lesson Objective

Students will be able to identify and create alliteration in poetry.

Lesson Plan

Connection (3-5 mins): Students should be seated on the carpet with a partner.  They will be expected to turn and talk to this partner throughout the lesson.  Readers, everyday you are becoming poetry experts.  I am so proud of the progress we have made in our poetry unit already.  Today, we will begin to learn about different ways sounds can affect words in poetry. 

Teach/Active Engagement (10-12 mins): Alliteration is the use of the same consonant sounds in words that are near each other.  Many of you may have heard of tongue twisters, these are examples of alliteration.  For example, “Sally sells seashells by the seashore” is an example of alliteration because the s sound is repeated in that line multiple times.  However, it is the sound, not the letter that is important in alliteration.  For example, candy and cindy are not examples of alliteration because the word candy makes the hard k sound and cindy makes the letter s sound.  Let’s look at an example of a poem that features alliteration together.

Betty Botter by Mother Goose

Betty Botter bought some butter,
but, she said, the butter’s bitter;
if I put it in my batter
it will make my batter bitter,
but a bit of better butter
will make my batter better.
So she bought a bit of butter
better than her bitter butter,
and she put it in her batter
and the batter was not bitter.
So ’twas better Betty Botter
bought a bit of better butter.


Teacher reads aloud example of poem.  Wow! That was really difficult to read.  What sounds did you notice I repeated a lot?  Turn and tell your partner a line in this poem that contains alliteration.  Students should discuss and teacher calls on specific partnerships to share out their responses.  Teacher should praise and highlight correct responses.

You all did a great job noticing the examples of alliteration in the poem.  Poets often include alliteration in a poem to make it more fun to read and create rhythm in the poem.  Let’s look at another example.

Baker’s Reply to the Needle Salesman by Unknown

I need not your needles,
They’re needless to me,
For kneading of needles,
Were needless, you see;
But did my neat trousers
But need to be kneed,
I then should have need
Of your needles indeed.

Turn and read this poem aloud with your partner.  Each of you take a turn reading the poem aloud then discuss the lines that contain alliteration.  What do you notice that’s different about this poem than the first poem?  Students should turn and talk.

Teacher calls on students to share out their responses.  Teacher should highlight that kneed and need are examples of alliteration although they do not have the same beginning letters. 

I think you are all ready to try on your own.  When you return to your seats I want you to begin reading in your poetry folders.  Your purpose for reading today is to notice examples of alliteration.  By the end of workshop time, I want each student to have three examples of alliteration from poetry.  I will pass out a note card to each of you.  On this note card you must write the example of alliteration and the poem that you found the example in for three different examples. 


Independent Reading (15-20 mins): Students should return to their seats.  During this time they should complete the workshop activity described above.  Teacher should circulate in the room to check in with students who may struggle with the activity. 

Exit Slip/Share (5-10 mins) : The note cards students write their examples of alliteration on, should be collected as an exit slip.  It is important to require students write the poem name for each example.  This allows the teacher a chance to check back and ensure students did not make up examples of alliteration.  If students finish early they may try to write their own examples of alliteration.  I have attached an easy worksheet as an extension activity for those students who finish early.


Reflection: This lesson is really fun for students because they are usually familar with tongue twisters.  The extension activtiy is always a great way to incorporate further learning by allowing students to create their own examples of alliteration.  For strugging readers, they are at least able to notice the similar sound and letter patterns from phonics activities.

Lesson Resources

Alliteration Extension Activity   Activity
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