Menu

Rhyming Games

Rhyme is found in poetry, songs, and many children's books and games. Most children also love to sing and recite nursery rhymes. Words that can be grouped together by a common sound, for example the "-at" family — cat, hat, and sat — can be used to teach children about similar spellings. Children can use these rhyme families when learning to read and spell.

Why teach about rhyming?

Developing a child's phonological awareness is an important part of developing a reader. Young children's ability to identify rhyme units is an important component of phonological awareness. Research shows that students benefit from direct instruction on rhyme recognition paired with fun activities that target this skill.

When to use: Before reading During reading After reading
How to use: Individually With small groups Whole class setting

Examples

Rhyme book #1

Students can draw pictures of objects that rhyme or cut out rhyming pictures found in magazines and place them in their books.

Rhyme book #2

The following link provides teachers with printable pages for creating a rhyme book for each student. Students can cut out each page and teachers can help staple the pages together at the left. Teachers can include a more advanced task with this activity by asking students to write the rhyming words in the spaces provided.
Printable rhyming book pages >

Rhyme matching

This website includes many examples of rhyme matching activities. Teachers can download and print worksheets for students to match the rhyming pictures. There are also more advanced Venn diagram printouts for students to supply the rhyming words.
Rhyme matching activities >

File folder rhyming games

Teachers can create file folder games and ask students to find the rhymes for words. The example below includes connecting the two words with yarn.
File folder rhyming games >

Space-themed rhymes

The file folder game found on the link below helps students match rhyming words. Teachers can download and print the game, including all materials and instructions.
Space-themed rhyming game >

Word family chart

This Reading Rockets article describes several ideas for rhyme games and classroom activities. One example provided is how to create a word family chart from various rhyming words. Teachers can use rhyming words from a story or nursery rhyme to pull words for the chart.
How Now Brown Cow: Phoneme Awareness Activities >

Differentiated instruction

for Second Language Learners, students of varying reading skill, and for younger learners

  • Use pictures instead of words in activities for younger and lower level readers
  • Include oral rhyming activities.
  • Include a writing activity for more advance learners.
  • Use blank diagrams for more advance learners to complete (see example here).

See the research that supports this strategy

Bradley, L., & Bryant, P. (1985). Rhyme and reason in reading and spelling. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press.

Bryant, P., MacLean, M., & Bradley, L. (1990). Rhyme, language, and children's reading. Applied Psycholinguistics, 11, 237-252.

Moats, L. & Tolman, C. (2008). The Development of Phonological Skills.

Snow, C., Burns, M., & Griffin, P. (Eds.). (1998). Preventing reading difficulties in young children. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.

Children's books to use with this strategy

Sheep in a Jeep

Sheep in a Jeep

Silly rhymes about silly activities make the words jump off the page, complemented by humorous illustrations.

Jamberry

Jamberry

Jaunty rhymes (that just may be 'sing-able') are likely to ead to wordplay (literally) as one follows the animal cast play with berries of all kinds.

Giraffes Can't Dance

Giraffes Can't Dance

Gerald, the giraffe, is told by the other jungle animals that he can't dance. Of course, they're proven wrong as Gerald does his thing in this rhyming tale. This book may also inspire alliterative use of language.

Llama Llama Red Pajama

Llama Llama Red Pajama

Even the bedtime rituals don’t subdue the dramatic baby llama and the nighttime fears that descend when Mama Llama leaves his room. Young readers (and their parents) will see their own behavior in the rhyming text and expressive and winning illustrations.

Comments

Add comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.
"I'm wondering what to read next." — Matilda, Roald Dahl