Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Teaching Rhyming Words: An Interactive Activity

Folks are always asking me for ideas about educational games that boosts literacy, math, or science skills because I create so many different interactive -- and fun! -- educational games with Aiden using things that I already have at home.

I made up The Rhyming Game, and we've been having fun with it for a couple of days now. Teaching rhyming words is so important when teaching literacy because it helps kids identify word "families" (let, met, bet), at that increases their ability to decode words at a much faster pace.

Here are the deets on the game:

Materials needed: index cards, chart paper, different color sharpies (or markers), scissors, a book with lots of rhyming. We used The Jungle Run for this activity, but you can easily use any book with a lot of rhyming words, such as Sue Fliess' Shoes For Me!, A Dress For Me!, or many of Dr. Seuss' books.)

Prior knowledge: The game is a bit easier if your little reader knows letter-sound recognition. Or if they have a solid grasp on sight words. But, anyone can have fun with the game if they have the right amount of guidance. 

Aiden's library a few years ago. It's almost twice this size today.
The activity:
1. Be sure that your little reader knows the meaning of rhyming words. Aiden and I do a little song that says, "Rhyming words are words that sound the same at the end." It's a made-up jingle, but it works because he remembers it and, more importantly, understands it. 

2. Read the book. (You can also save this part for the end of the activity.) When you get to a line that rhymes (ex: fun, run), stop and ask, "What makes them rhyming words?" See if they can add more words to the family (sun, bun, etc...)

3. Cut the index cards in half and write one letter of the alphabet on each half of the index card. Put the cards in order from A-Z.

4. Write a sight word on the chart paper. (It should be a word that your little reader already knows how to read. Or a word that they can easily sound out.) Ask the child to say the word out loud.

5. Pick a letter from your alphabet pile and put it over the beginning letter of the original word that you wrote down. (Ex: If you wrote down "fun," put the letter "S" over the letter "F" and have the child take note of the difference in words and in the beginning sound.) Before you go on to picking another letter, make sure that the child understands that the words sound the same, but the beginning sounds are different.

6. Write down all of the rhyming words that you came up with together, have your child read the words themselves, and celebrate your success with a fun chant.

**If your child is already a beginning reader, have them read a short story that has lots of rhyming on their own.


  1. I love this idea! Thanks for the instructions

  2. Really great idea! Chunks and I sing all these words around the house so maybe it would help for him to actually SEE them. THANKS!

  3. That rhyming game is so clever! Raising a reader is sometimes difficult. If we can get our kids interested in the written word, that's simply awesome.


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