Rhyming/Word Families Lesson Plans

  • Teach rhymes directly - not just through exposure to nursery rhymes.
  • Rhyming follows a developmental progression: exposure to rhyme, rhyme judgement and then rhyme production.
  • Begin with one syllable words and then progress to to two syllable words.
  • Accept all attempts to rhyme production - even nonsense words.
  • Point out rhyming words in nursery rhymes and poems.
  • Play rhyming Go Fish.
  • Play rhyming Concentration.
  • Play rhyming BINGO.
  • Read students a book that uses rhyming words, such as Chica Chica Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault or Each Peach Pear Plum by Allen and Janet Ahlberg. The first time you read the book, stress the rhyming words, but do not comment on them. After reading the book, mention to the children that the book contains many pairs of rhymes. Tell them that you will be reading through the book again, and this time the children should raise their hands when they hear a pair of rhyming words. As students raise their hands, ask them to identify the rhyme that they heard
  • If your children have a favorite song that contains rhyming words, such as "This Old Man" or "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star," have them dictate the words of the song to you and record them on sentence strips. Sing the song with them, using a pointer to show them how to follow along. (Although they will probably not be reading yet, this exercise will build prereading skills as well.) Have them raise their hands when they hear a pair of rhyming words, and circle the words as you go. When you finish singing, read through the circled words to hear how they rhyme.
  • Cut out pictures from the “word families” section of a phonics workbook to create a bingo board. (Make sure the pictures are all easy to identify.) Pass out the pictures to children, keeping one picture from each word family taped to the board. Go around the room, having each child identify the picture on the card and matching it with the rhyming word on the board.
  • Introduce them to the Dr. Seuss books.
  • Introduce rhyming through word play with silly words, songs, chants, books, and the other methods mentioned. Before you know it the kids are doing it all the time! We sing "willoby walloby" and other nonsense songs during transitiontimes and during dismissal. I even change it to "tilloby tolloby" or "dilloby dolloby." There are some great books out there that specialize in taking advantage of the small amounts of time we have throughout the day to emphasize language skills. I play a lot of "Name games" with my group to teach language skills. Before I know it, the alphabet is known by all as well as sounds and letter recognition all through fun and exciting games, chants, songs, movement activities, etc.