ACTIVITIES TO BUILD RHYMING SKILLS

Below I suggest some activities to build rhyming skills at home.  Rhyming skills are a component of phonological awareness.

Examples of Rhyming Skills

  1. Do the following pairs of words rhyme?  ratmat (yes), jumpybumpy (yes), lovelion (no)
  2. Give me a word that rhymes with car? vetbake?  Nonsense words as answers are acceptable.

The second example of rhyming is harder than the first because the child has to come up with the rhyming word.

Activities to Build Rhyming Skills

  1. Use Rhyming Picture cards.  Start with only eight cards (four matching pairs) showing.  First, have the child name all the pictures.  If he does not know a name, provide it.  Next, pick up a card and have the child name it, stick.  If he does not know which picture card rhyme with it, test out a few pairs for him.  Say, “stickfrog, stickchick, stickskunk.  Which pair rhymes?”  You can extend the activity by asking/telling the onset (the rhyming part): -ick.  You can also ask for additional rhyming words, such as lick, Rick, and quick.  As your child becomes more proficient, you can increase the number of rhyming picture cards.  It is your job as the parent to figure out your child’s current skill level and build from there using scaffolding techniques.
  2. Read books that feature rhyming extensively.  Read them over and over and over.  Eventually, your child will start supplying the missing rhyming words.  Some of my favorites are Llama Llama Misses Mama by Anna Dewdney (and the entire Llama Llama series), Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin, Jr. (and the related Bill Martin Jr. books), My Truck is Stuck! by Kevin Lewis and Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr.  Ask your local librarian for more ideas.
  3. Look at objects around you (in your home, at the park, passing by in the car) and start the game, “I see a book.  Do you see a _______?”  (Supply a rhyming word.  It does not need to be a real word.)  Your child and you can take turns making the “I see a ______.  Do you see a _______?” statement.  Other examples: I see fish. Do you see a dish/pish?  I see a tree.  Do you see a key/fee?  I see a sign.  Do you line/jine?  My examples are meant to illustrate acceptable rhymes that are real words and ones that are nonsense.  You can control this activity in the beginning by making sure objects that are single syllable and have common rhymes are present.  Such objects would include a dog, fish, can, boy, book, pot, cat, doll, mug and chair.

It is your job as the parent to figure out your child’s current skill level and build from there using scaffolding techniques.

The website, PhonologicalAwareness.org has an extensive list of quality activities.

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