A rhyme scheme is the pattern of rhymes at the end of each line of a poem or song. It is usually referred to by using letters to indicate which lines rhyme; lines designated with the same letter all rhyme with each other. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhyme_scheme
Examples of Rhyme Scheme
Here’s a well-known poem with a simple ABCB rhyme scheme.
Roses are red
Violets are blue
Sugar is sweet
So are you.ABCB Rhyme Scheme
The end-rhyme for line 1 is the word red, but it doesn’t rhyme with another line. The word red represents the A in the rhyme scheme.
The word blue in line 2 represents the B in the rhyme scheme. It rhymes with the word you in line 4. You is also represented by the letter B to show it rhymes.
The word sweet in line 3 doesn’t rhyme with another line, so it gets a new letter in the rhyme scheme – C.
Here’s another example, but this time it’s a ABBA rhyme scheme.
Ketchup is red
Berries are blue
When I’m with you
I’ll bring the bread.ABBA Rhyme Scheme
Teaching Rhyme Scheme
Most English Language Arts and Reading standards place rhyme scheme somewhere between 3rd- and 5th-grades.
In Common Core State Standards,
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.5: Explain major differences between poems, drama, and prose, and refer to the structural elements of poems (e.g., verse, rhythm, meter).
In the new Texas (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills) rhyme scheme shows up in 3rd-grade:
TEKS 3.9B explain rhyme scheme, sound devices, and structural elements such as stanzas in a variety of poems.
In the New York State ELA Learning Standards rhyme scheme is not specifically mentioned but is alluded to in 4th-grade:
Craft & Structure 4R5: In literary texts, identify and analyze structural elements, using terms such as verse, rhythm, meter, characters, settings, dialogue, stage directions.
Teaching Resources for Poetry
We specialized in teaching strategies and resources, so it wouldn’t be right to end this post without sharing some teaching resources to help you out!
Preview both of these poetry task card sets at our TeachersPayTeachers store! Click here to visit >>