1. Overview

Blend a beginning sound (phoneme) together with other spoken word parts to make rhyming words.

If necessary, review the later Rhyming games (Rhyming Climbing, Can You Make a Rhyming Word?, and Pack the Plane!), to firm up your child’s understanding of rhyming, before playing this game.

building rhymes
mmmat rhymes with at!

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2. Materials & Preparation

You will want to prop up the sound card for each round so that the child is looking straight at it. Lean it against a block or something so that it is angled appropriately.

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3. Activity

Video: How to play Building Rhymes, Parts 1-3

Start by modelling for your child how to use the sound cards to build rhyming words. Choose a sound card that the child knows (for example, /mmm/) and place it directly in front of her, and touch it underneath the letter.

Adult: I’m going to show you how to build rhyming words!
            Touch under the card and say its sound.

Child: mmm
Adult: Yes, /mmm/. I’m going to use that sound to rhyme with at.
            What am I going to rhyme with?

Child: at
Adult: Yes, at. Listen: rhyming with at.
[point to card] mmmat. Mat! I rhymed with at.

Next, have the child join you in building some rhymes:

Adult: Touch under the card and say its sound.
Child: mmm
Adult: Yes, /mmm/. Now touch under the /mmm/ and get ready to rhyme with me.
            Listen: rhyming with at.
and Child: [in unison] mmmat. Mat!
Adult: Again. Rhyming with at. Get ready.
and Child: [in unison] mmmat. Mat!
Adult: Yes, mat! We rhymed with at.

Repeat until she is able to build a rhyme with you, without pausing. Now your child is ready to build some rhymes of her own.

Adult: Now it’s your turn to rhyme with at.
            Get ready: what are you going to rhyme with?

Child: at
Adult: Yes, at. Touch the card, say its sound, and rhyme with at.
Child: mmmat. Mat!
Adult: Yes, mat rhymes with at.
            You built a word that rhymes with at!
            Let’s build some more rhymes using this same card.
            Now let’s rhyme with et

NOTE: If your child pauses between the first sound and the rhyme, prod her a little: “Say it fast.” Hand gestures may help your child understand and better focus on this activity. For example, have the child make a fist with her left hand while saying the targeted letter sound and a fist with her right hand while saying the word she is going to rhyme with. Have her start with her two fists apart and repeat the two word parts faster while bringing her fists closer together. When her two fists touch, she should say the new rhyming word.

For each starting sound, we have a list of ten words. You will go through that word list three times in one lesson:

  1. In the first round, simply have the child build a rhyme with the starting sound and word stem.
  2. Go through the list a second time, with the child building a rhyme and the adult using each word in a sentence:
    Adult: Yes, dad rhymes with ad.
                “I went to the park with my dad.”
  3. For the third round, the child will make the rhyme and also make up a sentence using the word.
In Rounds 2 & 3, mix up the order of the word list. Wrap up the lesson by repeating Round 1 with any words that gave the child trouble.

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4. Schedule

You will do this activity with your child numerous times in order to familiarize the child with all the different consonant starting sounds. Introduce one new letter sound a day, according to the schedule in the table below.

Day Review Add
1 g r
2 r k
3 r, k b
4 r, k, b j
5 r, k, b, j
6 j y
7 y q
8 y, q w
9 y, q, w z
10 y, q, w, z

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5. Confidence Builder

The “quick and quiet” letter sounds (b, c, d, g, h, j, k, p, t) are harder for a child to hear than the continuant consonants (f, l, m, n, r, s, v, w). The quick and quiet sounds may need to be repeated, as in /b/ /b/ /b/ [pause] /ake/, for your child to really hear what you’re saying.

If the child is struggling with the primary activity of building rhymes, focus on that and skip the part about making sentences.

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6. Extension

If your child is really quick at learning the letter sounds, you can introduce two new starting sounds in a session, but no more than that. It’s much better to go slow and really learn to hear the starting sounds than to rush through to the next activity before the child is ready.

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7. Small Groups (2-5 children)

Lesson Objective: Using one consonant letter card as an aid, children will repeat a spoken word stem, add the letter’s phoneme to the beginning and create a spoken word that rhymes with the stem.

GELDS (Georgia Early Learning & Development Standards): CLL6.4f

Georgia Standards of Excellence: ELAGSEKRF2.c

Common Core State Standards: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.K.2.C

Additional Materials:

  • paper plates with smiley face on one side and frowny face on the other side

Adaptation: Read the main activity, watch the video, and follow the instructions above, with the following changes:

Continue following the schedule if the children are developing the skills. If not, review and repeat activities.

The teacher does the activity, occasionally making a mistake. The children must listen closely to catch the mistake. For example:

Adult: OK, I’m rhyming with am. What am I rhyming with?
Children: am
Adult: Listen: sss…am. Again: sss…am.
            Now I’ll say it fast: sit. Did I rhyme with am?

Children should hold up a smiley face or frowny face to indicate whether you built the rhyme correctly or not.

Reinforcement: Review the sounds you’ve covered so far. Encourage the children to make sentences with the words. For example: “-ad. Dad! How many sentences can we make with dad?” Challenge each child to create a new sentence with a word that rhymes with dad.

Use this Reinforcement at Home form to tell parents and guardians how they can reinforce lessons outside the classroom.

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