Develop phonological awareness in small groups or literacy centers with these kindergarten rhyming activities. Don’t miss the free fun activity to use in the classroom or at home.
For some of your kindergarten students, recognizing and producing rhymes can be difficult. Exposure to nursery rhymes, poetry, and various rhyming activities is a great way to develop phonological awareness skills. Although we want to focus much of our phonemic awareness instruction on blending, segmenting, and manipulating phonemes, we also want to provide students with opportunities to practice rhyming and alliteration. Adding a rhyming game or fun activities to your literacy centers can be the perfect way to incorporate rhyming practice in your classroom. Additionally, when teaching and practicing rhymes, be sure to include both rhyming pictures and rhyming cards with just words as well as oral practice.
My Favorite Way to Practice Rhyming: Poetry
In order to produce (or even recognize) a rhyme, students must be able to listen closely for ending sounds within words. Sharing rhyming poems with your students daily is a fun way to introduce rhymes. Poetry was part of our daily schedule and was introduced at the beginning of the school year and we did it all year long. Poetry quickly became a student favorite during our day and it’s a wonderful way to build fluency.
Each week, I would introduce a new poem that correlated with our seasonal theme. Each poem includes extension activities. Here you can see friends sorting rhyming picture cards. This was often a literacy center activity that students completed.
There are a few different literacy tasks included with each poem for students to extend their learning.
We use poetry notebooks to keep our weekly poems and activities organized. Each day, we take a closer look at the poem and complete different activities to support our learning.
During the first few weeks of kindergarten, I also love using familiar nursery rhymes for our daily poems.
Circle time is the perfect time to play a fun game to practice rhyming. These don’t need to be anything extensive or something that requires manipulatives. Here are some quick and easy ideas for practicing rhyming during circle time:
- Say a word and move around the circle as students give a rhyming word using silly voices.
- Have an I Spy scavenger hunt. It may sound like this – “I spy something that rhymes with cook”.
- At the beginning of the year, name rhymes are the best way for students to learn about their classmates. Your students will love a name game like Willoughby Wallaby Woo or Hicklety Picklety Bumblebee.
- Play a memory game where students try to make a rhyming match. This one requires some rhyming picture cards so I included a set for you at the end of this blog post as a free file. Woot!! You could use the rhyme cards for an engaging pocket chart activity
- Name Chant Poem: You can find this poem in this poetry unit. It is a fun, interactive way to practice rhyming, student names, and concepts of print.
Rhyming Center Activities
Literacy centers are a great time to practice rhyming. You can see kindergarten students finding rhyming pairs in this write-the-room center.
These activities are low-prep and are engaging for students as they walk around your classroom looking for rhyming word cards to complete the recording sheet.
In addition to a write-the-room center, I like to have various other stations running while small-group reading instruction is taking place. The activities in this literacy bundle provide additional practice for a variety of literacy skills, including rhyming. Again, super easy prep plus an engaging activity for students. Win-Win!
Rhyming Printable Activities
Printable worksheets are great resources for providing additional practice here and there throughout your day. We had a soft start in my kindergarten classroom, so I often used printables for morning work. Research tells us that with the routine and structure of morning work, the learning environment becomes more positive. You can read more about morning work in kindergarten, here.
In addition to worksheets with simple rhymes, there are also a plethora of activities to practice letter identification and sound, CVC words, CVCe words, blends, digraphs, word families, sentences, and the list goes on! Plus, math skills!
This bundle of printables has a TON of math and literacy worksheets that are seasonal and fun. Check out this resource here:
Songs are a great idea for getting students up and moving while practicing a specific skill.
Jack Hartmann has several simple songs for identifying rhyming word pairs that are perfect to share with young children. Rocco the Rhyming Rhino and Dance, Rhyme and Freeze are a couple of my favorites.
The video of Down By the Bay by the Learning Station is a fun one, too!
See You Later, Alligator would be a fun one to play at the end of the day.
Do They Rhyme by Harry Kindergarten is a pretty good one, too!
There are SO MANY rhyming picture books out there! I am sure you have a favorite rhyming book or two… here are a few more to add to your collection that are so much fun!
A rhyming book about a tortoise that says goodbye to all of his friends before going on a vacation. I used to have the sayings in this book on my classroom door that students could say when leaving at the end of the day.
This story is super sweet! A popsicle melts and becomes just a stick. This is a great rhyming book with a fantastic message about having the courage to keep going when things don’t go as you expected.
Rhyming Free File
This rhyming memory activity makes a great game for early finishers or literacy centers. Simply add your name and email address to the boxes below. Then, check your inbox to download the free file.