Rhyme Time

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Students will be able to recognize and produce rhyming words.

Big Idea

Creating nonsense sentences allows students to practice rhyming skills.


10 minutes

Gather students on the rug using a preferred classroom management technique. I like to use my “Stop, look, listen.” The students stop what they are doing, look at me and listen for the direction. I usually preface the direction with, “When I say go…” This reminds the students to listen to the whole direction before moving to follow the directive.

In this case I would say, “When I say go I would like you to clear your space, push in your chair and go take a spot on your dot. Walking feet go.” By saying walking feet I am reminding the students to use walking feet in the classroom to ensure safe movement between areas.

When all of the students are seated on their dot in the rug area I tell the students they will need to stand up and find a space on and around the rug where they will not bump into their friends.

I tell the students we are going to follow the directions throughout the song. They will need to pay attention and listen closely so they know what to do. The song has the students hopping and stopping at various points throughout the song. They must hop on left foot then right and then both.

Unfortunately I do not know who sings the song as it was given to me as a recording on a CD.

If you have a good hopping song you can use go ahead and use it.

Another song that would work is Greg and Steve’s Bop Until You Drop. You can tell the students “bop and drop” rhyme just like “hop and stop.”


I use this Hop and Stop song because it gets the students thinking about the rhyming words hop and stop. It is also a fun way for the students to get moving before sitting down for a story.



40 minutes

Today I hold the book up and ask the students who they think the book is written by.

“Boys and girls, raise a quiet hand if you think you can tell me who the author of this book is.”

I select a student who is sitting quietly with their hand raised following the correct classroom protocol.

“Well done Benjamin; this book is written by Dr. Seuss. Benjamin, how did you know who the author of this book was?”

“Wow that is a lot of clues you used to know the answer. You said you knew because of the Cat in the Hat symbol on the cover of the book, you saw his name on the cover, and you have heard this book before. Those are all great ways to know who wrote the book.”

“The whole title of this book is Hop on Pop. Does anyone know why we are reading this book today?”

“Well done Rachel; we are reading it because we are exploring the author Dr. Seuss. He wrote lots of books that helped children learn to read. We are reading some Dr. Seuss books to see what skills we can practice to help us become better readers. Let’s go ahead and read our Dr. Seuss book for the day.” 


As we read the book I ask the students questions relating to the text.

“Hey I notice something about the text in this story. Can anyone tell me what they think I notice?”

“You are right Adam; the words rhyme. He writes the two rhyming words and then uses them in a sentence.”

“Great work. We are going to continue reading and I want you to pay close attention to the rhymes Dr. Seuss uses throughout the book.”

We continue reading the book through to the end.  


Once the story is over I open up a blank screen on the SMARTBoard and tell the students, “Today at one of the integrated work stations you are going to come up with your own rhyming word sentence. The first thing you will need to do is choose two rhyming words to work with. I am going to choose the letter clap and snap.”

I write the words clap and snap on the screen.

“Now I have to think of a sentence which uses these two words. Hmm…Let’s see… Uh I know one.”

I speak out loud as I write the sentence I want to use on the board.

“Clapp snaps. Clapp uses fingers to go snap, snap, snap.”

Then I quickly draw me snapping my fingers.  

“Great. I like it. Did I use rhyming words in my sentence?”

I allow the students to call out a response.

“Your right I sure did. I used some sight words and a vocabulary word to add interest to my sentence and you will most likely need to do the same thing.”

I point again to the board as I say, “What I just showed you on the board is exactly what you are going to do on a recording sheet with the rhyming words of your choice. Don’t worry because a grown-up will be at this station to help you out if you need it.”

I hold up the recording sheet so that students will recognize it when they get to this station.

In my other hand I have some other recording sheets.

Rhyming Word Pairs master - includes a blank page so students can create their own rhyming word pair

“If you have trouble thinking of two rhyming words these recording sheets already have two rhyming words written on them. You can use these sheets to help you pick out rhyming words, but you will still need to come up with a sentence using these two words.”

“Now remember Mrs. Clapp is going to use a checklist to go over your work to see if you followed the directions that were given. Did the student put their name on the recording sheet? Does the sentence use rhyming words? Is there an illustration to support the sentence? Is the student’s work neat and tidy?”   

“Does anyone have any questions?”


Once I feel the group has a good grasp of the instructions I send the students over one table group at a time to maintain a safe and orderly classroom. It usually sounds like this;

“Table number one let’s go have some rhyming fun.

Table number two, you know what to do.

Table number three, hope you were listening to me, and

Table number four, you shouldn’t be here anymore.”


Allow the students 15 minutes to work on this activity. Set a visual timer and remind the students to look at the timer so they will use their time wisely.

Students working on activity.     Student working on activity.   



One of the first patterns that students discover about language is rhyme. Being able to detect rhyming patterns supports students emerging insights into the predictable ways that speech maps onto print. Once a student knows how to rhyme they can begin to move onto other stages in the development of phonological awareness.

  • Rhyming words
  • Counting words in sentences
  • Counting syllables in words
  • Counting phonemes in words
  • Segmenting and blending onset and rime
  • Segmenting and blending phonemes
  • Substitution of sounds



10 minutes

When the time is up I blow two short blasts on my whistle and use the “Stop, look listen” technique mentioned above. “When I say go, I would like you to clean up your space remembering to take care of our things, push in your chair, and use walking feet to go and take a spot on your dot.”

Students know to put completed work in the finished work bin. Any work that is not completed goes into the under construction bin and can be completed throughout the day whenever the student finds he/she has spare time or it will be completed during free choice center time.

Student showing his work.     Closer view of his work.     His sentence up close.

Once the students are seated I tell them that their exit slip for today is to come up with two words that rhyme.  

“Boys and girls, your exit ticket today to get your snack is to give me two words that rhyme. I am going to tell you that you will need to think of at least two or three pairs of words. The reason you need to pick two or three pairs is why?”

I select a student who is following the correct classroom protocol to respond.

“You are right Courtney. Once someone has used a specific pair of words that pair is off the menu. But here is the deal… If you can come up with a different word to match one of the words already used, you can. Let me give you an example. If Rachel uses fat and cat as her rhyming pair, but I was going to use cat and mat as my rhyming pair, I still can.”

“Now that we know what we should be doing, I am going to use the fair sticks to choose who is going to tell me their rhyming pair of words first. Here we go.”

I use the fair sticks to select the order of the students. 

Once a student has told me their two rhyming words, they are able to use the hand sanitizer and go to get their snack. If a student is unable to give me an answer, they know they can do one of two things.

  1. They can ask a friend to help, or
  2. They can wait until everyone else has gone and then we will work together on coming up with a rhyming pair together. 

Students coming up with rhyming pairs.

When the students come up with two rhyming words they are confirming they have understood the lesson and they get to practice what they did during the activity.


I use the checklist to go over the student’s work and once it is complete I will place the student’s work in his/her collection portfolio.

Looking at the student’s work with the checklist helps me to stay focused. Firstly I am looking to see if the student could come with their own rhyming pair or if they needed to use one of the pre-made pairs. Secondly I check to see if the student can create a sentence using the two words. Finally I check to see if the student can create an illustration which supports their writing. 

Looking at the student samples you can see some of the students were simply trying to use the two rhyming words in a sentence and others were actually trying to make a rhyming sentence. 

Student sample 1     Student sample 2      Student sample 3      Student sample 4     Student sample 5     Student sample 6


Students play a rhyming memory game. They turn over a pair of cards. If the pair rhymes, the student is able to keep the pair. If the items do not rhyme then the cards get turned back over right where they are.


Watch the video version of the story later in the day. Hop on Pop – my only thing against this reading is that the complete sentence is not shown so the students do not get to see the words used in a sentence. 


Students play a math game where they stand along a line and then "hop" (jump actually) to see how far they can get on Pop (a body outline drawn on the rug). The student then has to use a tape measure to measure how far they jumped from the line onto Pop. The result is recorded on the SMARTBoard. Each student gets two "hops" and the best measurement is the one they record. 

Students hopping on Pop.     Our Pop when we finished hopping on him.     Class results.