Here is fun and simple way to practice rhyming words with kids! All you need are some flashcards with rhyming words, some magnetic bingo chips, and one magnet per child. Actually, any other kind of token or counter to be used as a reward would probably also work just fine.
I played this game with my friend Mrs. Rodriguez’ class when I went in to volunteer a few weeks ago! I asked her what they needed to work on, and she suggested that rhyming words were the skill that they needed. So I brought along my trusty Rhyming Bingo and Practice Cards Set, along with the magnetic chips and wands that I always use with it.
However, when I got there, she said that most of the children probably couldn’t really play it yet, because they just didn’t know enough about rhyme to really do it. So I improvised! Actually, some of my best (and craziest!) ideas are born of a need to improvise. Does that ever happen to you?
I decided that I would just practice having them give me rhyming words, (nonsense or real) using the Practice Cards that I had with me that go with the Rhyming Bingo set. But after the first child gave me a correct answer, she sweetly looked up at me and smiled, waiting for some kind of reward. So I decided to give her a magnetic bingo chip. She was delighted! She said, “What’s that for?” I said, “It’s just a chip! You get to keep it until you’re done! Let’s see how many you get!” (Watch the video below to see how the lesson went!)
The little sweetie giggled and smiled and was clearly excited, so I went on to the next card. Each time I pulled out a card and asked for a rhyme, I gave a chip to whomever told me a rhyming word, either real or nonsense. They were thrilled each time! They were happily counting away, and I kept the game as fast paced as I could. When they gave me a word that didn’t quite rhyme, we talked about why it didn’t rhyme and kept thinking until we found one, and THEN I gave them a chip!
Some of the children had no idea what to say, and no rhymes to offer at all. So I whispered to one child, “If you don’t know what to say, just listen to what the other kids are saying and repeat it. Just say what THEY’RE saying!” He looked at me incredulously. “Just say what they said? They same words?” I nodded. Still, the child said nothing. So again, I prompted him: “Joey said ‘dog/frog.’ Can you say dog/frog?” The little boy whispered, “Dog/frog.” I nearly jumped out of my seat, clapping, “YEAH, you DID IT!!!!!” and gave him a couple of chips!
The little cutie pie looked STUNNED that he had earned a chip! I could see the thoughts passing over his face. Could he have really gotten an answer CORRECT? Could it really BE TRUE that this funny lady thought it was okay for him to just copy the others and say what they were saying? He then started mimicking the other children, simply repeating what they had already said. I rewarded him each time, praising him lavishly for his efforts!
This happened over and over again in the other groups. And so this begs the question: do YOU think that it is better for the child to repeat the rhymes that he hears, or to sit silently and just listen? I THINK HE IS GETTING MORE OUT OF REPEATING THE RHYMES THAT HE HEARS! And that is why I rewarded him- because otherwise, he and a few other children like him were simply sitting there passively, watching and listening to the other children play. I now had another teaching modality engaged- (speaking,) rather than just two (listening and looking.)
For a child that is an “emergent rhymer” and (I think) an English Language learner as well, I’m satisfied with that! If you have ever used Michael Heggerty’s Phonemic Awareness program, he always starts with just having children repeat the rhyming words aloud after their teacher. And in this case, the other children were the teachers! I like that!
And the children were thrilled to play with the magnetic chips and wands! I let the children that seemed to be “trying the hardest” choose the color of wand that they wanted to use first. But even the children that didn’t get their first choice of wand color were super happy playing with the wands and chips, even though it was only for a minute or two! Then they all handed the chips and wands back to me and went on to their next center.
One of the students in the classroom appears to be a mainstreamed special needs child, and he loved the game so much that he came back to my table to play it TWICE! And he was quite successful at it, too! Now that says quite a bit, doesn’t it? I am very proud that he “endorsed” my Super Silly Rhyming Game That Works!
Did you know in March 2015, we updated our Singable Songs for Letters and Sounds DVD? Now you can get our new, fully animated Letters and Sounds DVD!!
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