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Students create a simple rhyming ABC book with younger or ESL students.
- brainstorm a list of words beginning with an assigned letter.
- write simple rhymes for that letter, following the examples given.
- illustrate the rhymes.
- incorporate the letter into the rhyme illustration in obvious or hidden ways.
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classroom writing and drawing materials
In this activity, students create simple rhymes for each letter of the alphabet. The rhymes will be collected and published in a book titled Our Rhyming ABC or P Is for Poetry.
Students might be grouped for this lesson in one of the following ways:
- Write each letter of the alphabet on a small piece of paper and put the papers into a container such as a bowl or hat. Have each student draw a letter from the container and explain to students that they will write a poem about the selected letter. If you have a class of fewer than 26 students, you might omit hard-to-rhyme letters such as i, q, x, and z.
- Organize students into pairs or groups of three or four, and let each pair or group select several letters and work together to create poems based on those letters. You might also assign each group one of the hard-to-rhyme letters mentioned above.
Have each student or group brainstorm a list of words beginning with their assigned letter(s). The lists will serve as a "dictionary" from which they can draw ideas for the rhymes they create. When the poems are completed, ask students to illustrate their rhymes.
A sample ABC poem, this one for the letter c.
C is for cow.
C is for cat.
C is for caterpillar
on my hat.
Extend the Lesson:
- Have students write each word that begins with the assigned letter in a different color.
- If students are stumped for rhyming words, and if they have Internet access, introduce them to an online rhyming dictionary.
- Make this activity a little more creative, and perhaps a little more challenging, by asking students to incorporate their assigned letter into their illustrations in obvious or hidden ways. For example, for the c poem above, the student might draw a picture of a cow with many black spots, including one spot shaped like the letter c, a cat curled up into a shape that resembles the letter c, or a caterpillar curled to form the letter c on a baseball cap that has a large team letter C on it.
- Students in foreign language classes might use this lesson to create an ABC book in the language they are learning.
- Students might use Kid Pix, or another software drawing program, to create the images for the book.
- Ask students to tell how many syllables appear in each line of their poems. (Do all lines have the same number of syllables?) Challenge students to try to include the same number of syllables (plus or minus one) in each line, so the rhyme has a nice rhythm.
Students share their poems with their classmates or with students in other classes.
Lesson Plan Source
Return to the Lesson Planning article, Turn Students Into Well-Versed Poets.
Originally published 4/19/2002
Last updated 03/16/2017