Poetry Rhyme

Contributor: Delaine Thomas. Lesson ID: 12339

Po'e'try is fun, you see. It may not rhyme, not ev'ry time. But in this case and in this space, our theme will be the rhyming scheme! Learn how to categorize (and write) poetry that rhymes ev'ry time!

categories

Writing

subject
English / Language Arts
learning style
Visual
personality style
Lion, Beaver
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!

Audio:

My Gift

What can I give Him,
Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd
I would bring a lamb,
If I were a Wise Man
I would do my part, --
Yet what can I give Him,
I'll give Him my heart.

~ by Christina Rossetti

What do you notice about these words, especially at the end of each line?

  • What is poetry?

Poetry is a special form of writing that is pleasing to the ear. Good poetry uses descriptive words, and it sometimes has rhyme and rhythm, too. All of these things work together to stir the emotions of the reader. When you write poetry, you begin each line with a capital letter.

Poetry does not have to rhyme, as in the above poem. When we look for rhyming words in a poem, we look at the last word in each line. Before you can identify a rhyme scheme, you need to know if words rhyme or not. Words rhyme when they have the same end sound. Look at the following words:

  • cat
  • hat
  • bat

These words rhyme because they all end with the "at" sound.

  • What about some larger words?
  • Can you think of a word that rhymes with house?
  • Did you say "mouse," or even "louse"? Both of those words rhyme with "house" because they have the same end sound.

Take out a sheet of paper and a pencil. As you watch this short video clip (ends at 3:46), write down how poetry is organized and define rhyme scheme. Watch Ali Neibling's Introduction to Poetry: The 3 R's, now:

 

When you use rhyme in poetry, there are different patterns of rhyme that are used. If you had a ten-line poem, the word at the end of each line would not necessarily be the same ending sound. That's what is meant by rhyme scheme. The first two lines might rhyme and then the next two rhyme, or every other line rhymes. Look at a few examples of this:

Trees

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

~ by Joyce Kilmer

In this poem, you will notice that it is arranged into groups of lines called stanzas. A stanza can be identified because there are no spaces between the lines. When the stanza ends, there is a space before the new stanza begins. In this poem there are two lines in each stanza.

The two words at the end of the first stanza are "see" and "tree."

  • Do "see" and "tree" rhyme?

Yes, they do! Label these two lines with the letter "A" to denote the first rhyming pattern.

The two words at the end of the second stanza are "day" and "pray."

  • Do "day" and "pray" rhyme?

Yes, they do.

  • Do they rhyme with "see" and "tree?"

No, they do not. Label these lines with the letter "B" to show where the new rhyme pattern starts.

The two words at the end of the third stanza are "wear" and "hair."

  • Do "wear" and "hair" rhyme?

Yes, they do.

  • Do they rhyme with "see" and "tree?"
  • Do they rhyme with "day" and "pray?"

No they do not. Label them with the letter "C" to show a new rhyme pattern.

The two words at the end of the last stanza are "me" and "tree."

  • Do "me" and "tree" rhyme?
  • Do they rhyme with "see" and "tree?"

Yes they do.

  • So, what letter should be used to show the rhyme pattern?

It's not a new a pattern, so we label it with "A" to show that this stanza's rhyme matches with that of the first stanza.

Trees

I think that I shall never see A
A poem lovely as a tree. A

A tree that looks at God all day, B
And lifts her leafy arms to pray; B

A tree that may in summer wear C
A nest of robins in her hair. C

Poems are made by fools like me, A
But only God can make a tree. A

~ by Joyce Kilmer

Remember that a rhyme scheme or pattern is determined by the end sound of the last word in each line. That scheme can take many different patterns.

Continue to the Got It? section, where you will practice identifying a rhyme scheme.

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