Adding Rhythm and Rhyme to Poems

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SWBAT write a quatrain with an AABB rhyming pattern.

Big Idea

Syllables versus Words.


15 minutes

Say to students, "Rhythm comes from a Greek word rhythmos meaning "measure", as in a bar of music that has a particular number of beats.  Poets use a variety of tools to give a poem rhythm.  One device poets use to give a poem rhythm is regular beats.  Today you will learn how to connects regular beats to the rhythm and meaning of a poem.

Some poems are like music- they make us want to clap our hands and dance to the words.  This morning you learned how the author of Zin! Zin! Zin! a Violin used words and phrases to establish a beat or a rhythm.  I'm going to read a poem outloud. As I read I want you to clap your hands to its rhythm."

Eagle Flight

Eagle gliding in the sky

Circling, circling way up high

wind is whistling through your wings

You're a graceful kite with no string


Now I'll read the poem again with the beats bolded

Eagle Flight

Eagle gliding in the sky                                   4 claps

Circling, circling way up high       4 claps

wind is whistling through your wings           4 claps

You're a graceful kite with no string             4 claps

There are 4 claps per line and the strong syllables give the poem its beat.  We do not clap on every syllable.  The beat happens on key words or syllables and the stressed beat is every other syllable.

Another thing that makes this poem sound great is that it is a quatrain.  That means that it has four lines.  The first two lines rhyme and the last two lines rhyme.  It has a AA BB structure.  Lines 1 and 2 rhyme and lines 3 and 4 rhyme.  AA BB.  Do you understand? 

Answer any questions that might come up.  


Class Created Quatrain

10 minutes

Now we are going to create a quatrain- a four lined poem with an AABB rhyming pattern with four beats per line.

So lets think of some ideas off our your A-Z taxonomy.  Raise your hand if you want to suggest and idea or topic to write our poem about.

Call on students to suggest a topic to write about.

Lets try to have 7 syllables per line.

Work with students to write a class quatrain with AABB pattern and 7 syllables per line alternating stressed versus unstressed syllables.

Write their poem on chart paper or on planning sheet under doc camera.  After finished writing class poem show students how to create a check list to use as a rubric.


4 lines with 7 syllables each alternating between stressed and unstressed syllables?

Lines 1 and 2 rhyme?

Lines 3 and 4 rhyme?

Now, students it is time for you to write your own quatrain with alternating stressed syllables to create a 4 beat rhythm per line and a rhyming scheme of AABB.

Independent writing

30 minutes

Have managers at each table pass out the planning sheet to scaffold the quatrain.

Students, pick a topic off your A-Z taxonomy to write your poem about. Use the planning sheet to help you come up with one or two syllable words so that you have 7 syllables per line.  You can use the rhyming dictionaries to help you have the AABB rhyming pattern.