Teach how to rhyme in kindergarten with simple hand motions. Here is one way to make rhyming orally easier to teach in kindergarten.
I found myself asking, “How do I teach kindergartners how to rhyme?”
And not just how to identify two words that rhyme, but to make their own rhyming words.
If you asked me this question my first year of teaching, I would’ve responded – “It’s just something they know or don’t know.”
That answer is only partially true. There is a developmentally ready piece that helps make a student hear, identify and produce rhyming words. I won’t deny that.
But it doesn’t mean we can’t explicitly teach students how to produce rhyming words orally.
And I focus on producing rhyming words orally, because to model how to make rhyming words with letters would be a little over most of the kids’ heads at the very beginning of the school year.
How to teach rhyming words orally
I’ve learned since my first year of teaching that making a visual and kinesthetic clue – a hand motion – helps my kinders understand what I’m asking for and are more likely to use them independently as a strategy later on.
And in this case – we’re talking rhyming.
So here are my hand motions I came up with to teach how to rhyme that really worked for us. The neat thing? They will also lend themselves to teaching onset and rime. Yay!
Essentially teach them how to isolate the beginning sound(s) (onset) and replacing it with a new one – while keeping the end of the word intact.
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By using these hand motions, students could better “feel” the sounds as they said them out loud.
Using these motions, they were better at segmenting and blending onsets and rimes – not to mention that they caught on much quicker to hearing rhymes and making them on their own.
I started showing them how to rhyme using your motions and within a few days, they got it. I can see a difference between last year’s class and this one. I can just go down the rows on the rug and they give me a rhyming word like popcorn. No more “Give me a word that rhymes with snake,” — “Alligator??” – Ruth
Let’s wrap it up
I hope this set of hand motions can be helpful to you and your class of kinders.
Just as I tell my kinders emphatically… the more we practice, the better we get!
Ready to work on more skills? Let’s master the alphabet with some of my favorite free downloads.
Or let’s go the next step with those who are ready and blend onsets and rimes!
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