Reading Skills Through Rhymes, Part I - Integrate reading in a meaningful and natural way with poems by reinforcing phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, and vocabulary using some of the activities below:

Syllables - After reading a poem with your students, read it again clapping the number of syllables in each word.  You could also snap, stomp, hop or make other movements for the syllables.  Challenge children to identify words with one syllable.  Can they find words with two syllables?  Can they find a word that has the same number of syllables as their name?

Rhyming words - Following a reading, mention that you heard words that sounded alike at the end.  Repeat two of the words that rhyme, then  read the poem again and ask children to listen for other words that rhyme.  As children find words that rhyme, highlight them on the poem with highlighting markers or tape.  Write sets of words that rhyme on the board.  Underline the letters that are the same.  Have children think of other words that have the same sound at the end, and write these on the board as the children call them out.

Onsets and Rimes - Reinforce rhyming words from poems with plastic eggs.  Write onsets (consonant, blend) on one section and rimes (vowel and letters following it) on the other half.  Children twist eggs to read new words.

Rime Boxes - Place magnet letters that will create a particular word family (such as a, t, m, p, b, c, h, r) in a small breath mints tin.  Add a list of the words that can be made from the letters in the box so children can reproduce them on the lid.

Alliteration - Read poems that have strong alliteration.  Have children identify words with the same beginning sound.  Highlight the words in the poem or list them on the board.  Can children add other words to the list that begin with the same sound?  Write them on the board, and then read over your list. 

Sound Scramble - Just for fun, choose an initial consonant sound and alliterate each word in a poem or nursery rhyme.  For example:  Bumpty Bumpty Bat Bon Ba Ball.  Bumpty Bumpty bad ba breat ball…

Listen Up - Say groups of words from a poem.  Two should begin with the same sound and the third should be different.  For example, "lion, leap, ground."  Can children listen up and identify the two that are the same? 

Say a number of words from a poem.  Tell the children if they hear a word that starts with a particular sound they should put their thumbs up.  If they don't hear the sound, they should put their thumbs down.

Letter Recognition - Glue magnetic letters to the end of craft sticks.  Pass these out to the children.  Can they find their letter in the poem and match it up?

Make a "magnifying glass" by twisting the end of a pipe cleaner into a circle.  Have children take the glass and "spy" letters they can identify in the poem.

Blending - Select words from the poem and stretch them out.  Can children blend the sounds and identify the word? 

Decoding Skills - As you come to unknown words in poems, stop and model how to sound them out by blending the sounds. 

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