Rhyming poetry

Learning focus

To explore the use of rhyming words and rhyme schemes in poetry.

This lesson includes:

  • one video about rhyme

  • one video about rhyme schemes

  • four activities

Learn

You’ll probably know a bit about rhyme already as it is often used in poetry.

Refresh your memory with this short, fun clip.

You can sing and dance along with CBBC's Radzi Chinyanganya if you like!

Radzi explains what rhyme is.

Remember:

Words that rhyme have the same end sound.

Sometimes they have the same ending letters which helps us know they rhyme.

For example: cat and mat, loud and proud, dress and mess

Sometimes they have different ending letters, but are still rhyming words as they make the same sound.

For example: cheese and peas, fly and eye, whale and snail

You can write rhyming poems by using pairs or groups of words that use the same sounds. This is called a rhyme scheme.

Watch the following clip to learn how rhyme schemes work and to see an example.

See how an A B A B rhyme scheme works.

You can work out the rhyme scheme of a poem by labelling the words that rhyme with each other. This will help you see the pattern of the poem.

For example:

  • If a poem's first and third lines rhyme you should label those A.

  • If the second and fourth lines of the poem rhyme, label these B.

  • Then you can see your four line poem has an A B A B rhyme scheme.

If all four lines rhyme with each other, this would be an A A A A rhyme scheme.

You could also have an A A B B rhyme scheme, or A B B A. There are lots of possibilities!

Practise

You may need paper and a pen or pencil for some of these activities.

Activity 1

Complete this activity by filling in the boxes to make an A B A B rhyme scheme.

Activity 2

Read each poem and decide what rhyme scheme it uses.

Top tip!

The word at the end of each line that rhymes are given the same letter.

Mittens was a big, fluffy cat.

One day the vet said she was getting too fat.

Tuna, treats and biscuits is what she used to be fed,

But now she’s given just meat and vegetables instead.

The rhyme scheme of this poem is..........

Soon the sun will fade from the sky,

And the stars will take over the night.

In the darkness they will lie,

Filling our world with glistening light.

The rhyme scheme of this poem is..........

Which rhyming scheme do you like the best? Why?

How does the rhyming scheme change how you read the poem?

You can check your answers with this answer sheet.

Activity 3

You are now going to create some rhyming word pairs which you will use later to write a poem about an animal.

First choose your animal and think about what they are like.

  • What colour is your animal?
  • What do they eat?
  • How do they act?
  • What noises do they make?

Now think of some rhyming word pairs about your animal and write them down.

See if you can create at least seven different rhyming pairs.

Don't worry if they don't quite make sense, just write them all down to see what you can come up with.

Top tip!

First think of a word that links to your animal and then think of a rhyming word to go with it. For example:

bee - see

buzz - fuzz

black - sack

yellow - mellow

wings - sings

flower - power

Activity 4

Now you are going to write a poem about your animal using the rhyming pairs you came up with for Activity 3.

The poem should be four lines long and follow the A A B B rhyme scheme.

Choose two of your rhyming pairs. You will use these at the end of each line.

One pair will be at the end of lines one and two.

The second pair will be at the end of lines three and four.

For example:

Bertie the bee buzzed up to a flower

And sucked up the nectar that gave him power.

Now Bertie was a super strong bee

So he flew back to his beehive for all the others to see.

As you are working you may come up with a new rhyming pair which is fine. Use that instead if you prefer it.

Challenge yourself: If you’re really enjoying it, you could carry on and write another four lines using the same rhyme scheme.

Where next?

In this lesson you have explored the use of rhyming words and rhyme schemes in poetry.

There are other useful articles on Bitesize to help you understand poetry.

There's more to learn

More lessons to help with learning at home
KS2 English
More from KS2 English
Primary games