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What is Rhyme Scheme?

What is Rhyme Scheme? And other Free Poetry Resources...

Author: TeamTom Education , Tags: Poetry, Reading

( words) minutes to read 

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

What is Ryhme Scheme – This video is perfect for a mini-lesson!

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 pattern.

Ketchup is red

Berries are blue

When I’m with you

I’ll bring the bread.

ABBA Rhyme Scheme

Teaching Rhyme Scheme

Strategy 1: Rhyme and Play

Make learning rhyme scheme an interactive experience! Here are three rhyming games you can use to teach all skills associated with poetry.

Rhyme Hunt: Hide rhyming pairs of words around the classroom and have students find them. Let them act out the words or create silly sentences with them.

Rhyme Time Charades: Divide students into teams and have them act out phrases or sentences using only rhyming words. The other team guesses the phrase/sentence.

Rhyme Relay Race: Write rhyming words on separate cards and spread them out. Divide students into teams and have them race to collect all the words that rhyme with a given target word.

These three poetry games are great! Students love learning in games that boost engagement, you’ll agree, the classroom will come alive with rhyming. And their interest in poetry will soar.

Strategy 2: Visualize the Scheme

Help students grasp the concept visually. These strategies will help your visual learners.

Color Coding: Assign different colors to each rhyming sound. When reading poems, highlight rhyming words with their corresponding colors. You can even create a “rhyme scheme map” by drawing lines between rhyming words.

Building Blocks: Use blocks or other manipulatives to represent each line of a poem. Color-code them based on their scheme and stack them accordingly to see the pattern.

Interactive Posters: Create posters with different rhyme schemes (AABB, ABAB, etc.) and use magnets or sticky notes to add and remove words, demonstrating how the pattern works.

Strategy 3: Create and Celebrate

Put their newfound knowledge into practice! Help students who prefer social interaction or students who prefer to express their creativity. Here are three more ways to teach rhyme scheme.

Rhyme Chain Poems: Start a poem with a line and have students take turns adding lines that rhyme with the ending word of the previous line. This is a fun collaborative activity that reinforces both rhyme and creativity.

Magnetic Poetry: Set up a magnetic board with rhyming words and let students create their own short poems. This allows them to experiment with different rhyming patterns and schemes and express themselves creatively.

Remix Famous Poems: Choose a well-known poem and challenge students to rewrite it using a different rhyme scheme. This encourages them to analyze existing patterns and apply their understanding to a new context.

Remember, the key is to make learning rhyme scheme engaging and enjoyable. Let the students explore, experiment, and have fun with language!

Rhyme Scheme in Standards

Most English Language Arts and Reading standards place rhyme scheme somewhere between 3rd- and 5th-grades. In Common Core State Standards, rhyme scheme is alluded to as a “structural element of poems” beginning in 4th-grade:

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 specialize in teaching strategies and resources, so it wouldn’t be right to end this post without sharing some teaching resources to help you out! We have a full bundle of task cards. Take a look at these poetry task cards.

Poetry Task Cards from TeamTom on TeachersPayTeachers
Click Image to View at TeachersPayTeachers
Poetry Task Cards for Rhyme Scheme - What is Rhyme Scheme?
Poetry Task Cards – Rhyme Scheme and Other Elements

Preview both of these poetry task card sets at our TeachersPayTeachers store! Click here to visit >>

About the Author

TeamTom Education is dedicated to creating engaging teaching resources and strategies that make learning awesome!

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