Lesson: Rhyme Scheme

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Lesson Objective

Students will be able to identify and label different rhyme schemes 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.  Yesterday we learned about the different parts of a poem.  We noticed stanzas and lines of poetry.  Today, we will take our learning even further.  When we first noticed characteristics of poetry, many of you noticed that poems sometimes rhyme.  By the end of the lesson today you will be able to label the rhyme scheme in multiple poems.

Teach/Active Engagement (10-12 mins): Many of you noticed that some poems rhyme.  When I say a word rhymes, I mean the two words have the same sound at the end.  For example, cat and hat both have the –at sound at the end, they are words that rhyme.  Poems can have very different rhyme schemes or patterns of which lines rhyme.  That is why it was so important to understand the line numbers in our lesson yesterday, because we want to determine which lines in a poem rhyme.  Watch me as I label the rhyme scheme in the poem below.


Oppossums at times take a notion to drop
Whatever they’re doing and come to a stop.
It’s called “playing possum,” and clearly it’s why
They’re mostly ignored by the folks passing by.

Teacher reads aloud the first two lines of the poem.  When I read this poem I notice that drop and stop rhyme.  When we label a poem for rhyme scheme we label each line with letters. The letters are in alphabetical order and lines that have words that rhyme are labeled with the same letter. 

I will label the first line with an A because it is the first letter in the alphabet and the beginning of the poem.  The next line I will also label with an A because it rhymes with stop.  Teacher writes the letter A beside both lines on the classroom chart.

Teacher reads aloud next two lines.  I noticed this time that again, why and by are rhyming words.  But why doesn’t rhyme with drop or stop.  Therefore, I will label both lines as B.  Teacher labels line 3 and 4 with the letter B. 

Now it’s your turn to try.  I am going to show you the next stanza of this poem.  I want you to turn and tell your partner what you would label each line.  Remember even when a new stanza begins, the letters must continue to follow the alphabet. 

When they’re playing possum, opossums appear
And never revive til you’re on your way.
They are aware when there’s anyone near
When they’re playing possum, opossums don’t play.

Students turn and talk with a partner to discuss the rhyme scheme.  Teacher calls on students to label the poem and adds the labels to the chart.

You all did a great job labeling that stanza.  I think you are ready to try on your own.  When you return to your seats today, you should begin reading in your poetry folders.  Your job is to label at least three poems with a rhyme scheme today during workshop time.  Off you go!

Independent Reading (15-20 mins): Students return to their seats. Each student should have a folder of various poems at their desk (pre-created for the unit).  While at their seats students should be actively reading and labeling the poems they read with the goal of labeling the rhyme scheme of three poems during workshop time.

Exit Slip/Share (5-10 mins): Students will complete an exit slip at the end of the lesson.  This assessment requires students to label the rhyme scheme of one poem.  Teacher should use this exit slip to determine which students mastered the skill and those that need remediation.

Reflection:  Students always enjoy this lesson.  They are very familiar with rhyme scheme and it is fun for them to discover all the different ways poets decide to create patterns in their poetry.  Most students are able to label the rhyme scheme correctly at the end of the lesson.  However, students may need to be reminded that more than two lines may have the same letter later on in the poem if another rhyming word is present depending on the difficulty of the rhyme scheme in selected poems.

Lesson Resources

Rhyme Scheme Exit Slip   Assessment


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