Standard Lesson

Generating Rhymes: Developing Phonemic Awareness

K - 2
Lesson Plan Type
Standard Lesson
Estimated Time
Two 30-minute sessions
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Learning to recognize rhyming patterns in language is an essential skill for emergent readers. As students manipulate words and sounds to create simple rhymes, they become aware of word and letter patterns that will help them develop decoding skills. In this lesson, students become familiar with 12 rhyming pairs of one-syllable words as they create rhyming lyrics to known songs ("Down by the Bay"), give rhyming words for a given keyword in a poem, and interact with their peers to find rhyming pairs of word cards. Students then demonstrate their knowledge through an individual assessment exercise.

Featured Resources

From Theory to Practice

  • Phonemic awareness, which is the awareness that speech consists of a sequence of sounds, should be a "priority" in early reading instruction.

  • Phonemic awareness instruction should provide students with "linguistic stimulation in the form of storytelling, word games, rhymes, and riddles."

  • Phonemic awareness instruction should be playful and engaging for young students and should be intentional with a specific goal in mind.

Common Core Standards

This resource has been aligned to the Common Core State Standards for states in which they have been adopted. If a state does not appear in the drop-down, CCSS alignments are forthcoming.

State Standards

This lesson has been aligned to standards in the following states. If a state does not appear in the drop-down, standard alignments are not currently available for that state.

NCTE/IRA National Standards for the English Language Arts

  • 11. Students participate as knowledgeable, reflective, creative, and critical members of a variety of literacy communities.
  • 12. Students use spoken, written, and visual language to accomplish their own purposes (e.g., for learning, enjoyment, persuasion, and the exchange of information).

Materials and Technology

  • Chart paper and markers

  • Index cards



1. Access the School Specialty Intervention Lesson Pack: Rhyming Pictures. Using the second worksheet (the one with the picture of a gate), cut out the rhyming word pairs (gate, plate, skate; car, jar, star; key, bee, tree; ring, king, swing; toe, bow, yo-yo). You may want to enlarge the pictures on a copier to make them easier to see. Glue each picture to an index card or copy the pictures onto card stock.

2. Using the third worksheet in the pack (the sheet with the picture of a book), cut out each picture and glue or tape it to an index card with the word written on the back. This will form the following 12 rhyming pairs:
book, hook dive, hive rug, bug
cat, bat egg, leg fire, tire
rain, crane two, zoo map, cap
whale, nail fox, box moon, spoon
3. Copy "Down by the Bay" onto chart paper, inserting the pictures with tape as noted on the handout. You may also want to write the word below the picture.

4. Photocopy a class set of the last worksheet (the one with a picture of a goat) from the lesson pack.

Student Objectives

Students will

  • Generate a rhyming word for a given keyword

  • Choose a rhyming picture to match a given key picture

  • Work with partners to generate and recognize rhyming pictures

  • Match two rhyming pictures

Session 1

1. Say several rhyming words aloud and ask students what they notice about the words. Accept all responses and introduce the term "rhyming". Give a keyword (cat) and ask students to give words that rhyme with the keyword.

2. Pass out the rhyming word pairs on index cards (from step 2 in Preparation), giving one to each student. Be sure to say the name of the picture aloud so students are clear about the word.

3. At a given signal, have students walk around the classroom and find their "partner" with the matching rhyming word. Students should sit down with their partners when they have made a match.

4. Once all students have found their rhyming partners, ask them if they know the song "Mary Had a Little Lamb." Tell students that they are going to be singing a different version of the song today. The song goes as follows:
Who has a word that rhymes with________, rhymes with ________, rhymes with __________; Who has a word that rhymes with __________, Oh Yes! the word is __________.

__(name)____ has ________ which rhymes with _______, rhymes with _______, rhymes with ________. ___(name)__ has _____ which rhymes with _______. ________ and ______ they rhyme!
The song would go like this:
Who has a word that rhymes with cat, rhymes with cat, rhymes with cat, Who has a word that rhymes with cat, Oh Yes! The word is bat.

Jesse has bat which rhymes with cat, rhymes with cat, rhymes with cat, Jesse has bat which rhymes with cat. Cat and bat, they rhyme!
5. Sing the song with students, calling up one student from the pair and having the second student (the rhyming word) call out their word at the appropriate time in the song. Ask all students to sing along and sing 12 verses so that all partners get a chance to participate with their rhyming words.

Session 2

1. Review with students the game and song they learned in the previous session and talk about what rhyming means.

2. Display "Down by the Bay". Point to each of the pictures and name each one aloud so students are familiar with them. The pictures that are not inserted within the poem should be displayed at the bottom of the chart.

3. Read the chorus several times and have students sing or read with you to familiarize themselves with the chant.

4. Read the first stanza. When you get to the blank, have students raise their hands to choose the correct rhyming picture. Read the stanza again with the rhyming pair. Continue until the poem is complete. The chant can be displayed in the classroom for students to revisit at a later time.

5. Pass out the individual worksheet (the last worksheet in the lesson pack) to students and ask them to draw a line between each rhyming word pair.


  • To extend these activities, have students play other rhyming games. They can also create new versions of the song or poem with different rhyming words and illustrate the words to create a class book.

  • Use the Scholastic online game Rhyming Rhino for added reinforcement.

  • Have students access the online interactive Construct-a-Word to gain more practice with word families. Similar to a magnetic board, students manipulate letters on the screen to make rhyming words.

Student Assessment / Reflections

  • Assess students' understanding of rhyming words using the worksheet completed individually.

  • Informal observation can also be used during the activities to see if students are able to verbalize the rhyming pairs or recognize rhyming picture words.

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