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K-5 Phonemic Awareness  # 1

Phonological Awareness – Rhyme

Grades K-1


Common Core State Standards

RF.K.2 Demonstrate understanding of spoken words, syllables, and sounds (phonemes)
           a. Recognize and produce rhyming sounds

RR.1.2 Demonstrate understnading of spoken words, syllables, and sounds (phonemes).



Identifying and making oral rhymes falls under the broad category of phonological awareness. Children usually develop awareness of rhyme in preschool and kindergarten; however, if it is not developed by then, intervention is necessary to develop this essential underlying skill for phonemic awareness.



  • Pictures – horn, corn, sheep, asleep
  • Pocket chart


Choose a nursery rhyme that the children already know for this lesson. This is phonological awareness, so it is not necessary to have the rhyme on a chart for the children to see. “Little Boy Blue” has been selected for the sample lesson.


Direct Explanation

“We are going to say a nursery rhyme we know, “Little Boy Blue”. As we say the poem, listen for words that rhyme. Words that rhyme have the same ending sounds. For example, cat and hat rhyme.  Listen, cat, bat.  They both end with /at/. Listen when I break it apart   /c/ /at/, /b/ /at/. You hear /at/ at the end.”   Repeat with bag and rag.



Say the nursery rhyme, “Little Boy Blue” and have the children say it with you. Repeat the rhyme and have children listen as you use your voice to emphasize the rhyming words (horn, corn; sheep, asleep) by whispering them or saying them louder to create an awareness of the rhymes. Repeat the nursery rhyme. This time, stop and say the words that rhyme and have the children repeat the rhyming words after you. Say, “The last part of these words sounds alike. That means they rhyme.”


   Little Boy Blue
 Little Boy Blue, come blow your horn.
The sheep’s in the meadow,
The cow’s in the corn.
Where’s the boy who looks after the sheep?
He’s under a haystack, fast asleep.















Guided Practice

Repeat “Little Boy Blue”.  As you come to the rhyming words, have children whisper them.


Show pictures --horn, corn, sheep, asleep. Guide children in matching the pictures that rhyme.


Independent practice

Give children pictures – horn, corn, sheep, asleep. Have them match rhyming pictures independently in a learning corner. Other sets of rhyming pictures may be added as they are introduced.



Read or say another nursery rhyme, ask children to identify words that rhyme. Have children match pictures that rhyme.


Note:  Once introduced and the concept of rhyme is understood by most children, phonological lessons should quickly move to higher levels on the continuum. Continue to use poems, songs, chants and finger plays during the

day to reinforce and practice rhyme.


Tier II Additions

v Provide student with pictures with corresponding words where the rhyming endings are highlighted, i.e. cat, bat.

v Provide peer or adult assistance for students with fine motor or physical disabilities in manipulating rhyming pictures.

v Allow students to highlight rhyming endings on words.

v Provide self-correcting materials for students matching rhyming pictures.

v Provide reading materials in appropriate media (example: Braille, large print).

v Use the Same/Different Judgment strategy and ask student to give a yes/no response, i.e., Does horn rhyme with corn?

v Use American Sign Language (teacher and/or interpreter) during modeling and guided practice for student with hearing impairment.

v Allow students to make an agreed upon physical motion each time they hear rhyming words i.e., stand up, raise hand.

v Use actual words from poem, “Little Boy Blue,” i.e., corn, horn, sleep, asleep in modeling example.


Tier II Assessment

Read or say another nursery rhyme, asking children to identify words that rhyme.  Also,have children match pictures that rhyme.






Tier III Accommodations/Modifications

v Provide a picture schedule that describes the steps of the lesson.

v Reduce number of choices during independent practice.

v Provide a picture of the rhyming words and have student show the picture that rhymes with the target word. Teacher says “Little Boy Blue come blow your horn" child must select from pictures of corn, baby and hat.

v Limit number of pictures.

v Present target word first, then read the sentence that contains the target word. Teacher says, “Horn. Little Boy Blue come blow your horn.” Student holds up the picture of corn.


Tier III Assessment

Review the pictures of baby and corner. Then say the rhyme of “Little Jack Horner”. To the student say, ”Little Jack Horner, sat in a _____ ,” student will select appropriate picture that rhymes with Horner from pictures of baby and corner.


Tier IV and V Modifications

v Use any of the previous accommodations and/or modifications that are needed by the student.

v Limit the number of pictures and variables presented each time.

v Consider the student’s attention to task when conducting the practice sessions.

v Practice in a small group or 1:1 setting prior to working with the entire class.

v Student may need to practice with rhyming words prior to putting rhyming words into sentences, poems, rhymes, etc.


Tier IV and V Assessment

Review pictures of target rhymes. Then say the first word and ask student to choose the picture of the rhyming word. For Tier IV, there may be more choices than for Tier V.





Phonemic Awareness in Young Children, Adams, Foreman, Brookes Publishing Company, Baltimore, 1998

National Reading Panel,





Copyright © 2006 Arkansas Department of Education.  All rights reserved.  School districts may reproduce these materials for in-school student use only.  No resale.  Materials may not be reproduced, distributed or sold for commercial use or profit.  ADE employees are not authorized to waive these restrictions. 

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