Teaching Rhyming Words

teaching rhyming words

Teaching Rhyming Words: whole class strategies

Have you ever seen a cat wearing a hat?
Have you ever seen a bear on a chair?
Have you ever seen a sheep in a Jeep?

Understanding rhyming words is an important early literacy skill, and also one of the most fun!
According to ResourcesforEarlyLearning.org, “recognizing rhyming words is a basic level of
phonemic awareness.”

Why are phonemic awareness and recognizing rhyming words important?

  • Phonemic awareness lays the foundations for learning to read and write.
  • Research shows that children with good phonemic awareness skills are more successful
    in learning to read and write.
  • Rhyming requires that children listen closely for sounds within words.
  • Children who recognize rhyme learn that words are made up of separate parts. Resource here.

While there are many strategies for working on rhyming words, music is a great place to start! Rhyming words have a significant presence in children’s music. If you replaced a rhyming word in a popular children’s song with a word that did not rhyme, children would likely notice that something did not sound right. For example…

The itsy bitsy spider climbed up the water spout
Down came the rain and washed the spider in

Pointing out rhyming words and words that do not rhyme is a great way to start introducing children to the concept of rhyme.

Check out this video that one of our music therapists created for an 8-minute activity to do with your child or class! This activity utilizes a song all about silly rhymes (“Down by the Bay”) and asks children to identify whether a pair of words rhyme or not.

Ms. Lydia teaches children to listen for whether words end with the same sounds as a clue for whether they rhyme or not. For an extra challenge, the video also provides time for children to come up with their own rhyming words!


For more tips and tools for your classroom, check us out on social media!

Facebook: Project Play Therapy, LLC

Instagram: @ProjectPlayTherapy

Twitter: @ProjectPlayLLC

Youtube: Subscribe Here