Lessons and worksheets are integral for learning, but students always do better when they're having a good time too. Rhyming word games are an excellent way to help kids better identify words, as well as learn how to read and spell a variety of words. Described below are several games using rhyming words, plus some other fun games for the classroom.
Disappearing Rhyme Man
A good rhyming game for the classroom is Disappearing Rhyme Man, sometimes called the Invisible Rhyme Man. It's like Hangman in reverse.
- Draw two stick men on the board with between 12 and 16 parts. This may include head, body, legs, arms, hair, eyes, nose, mouth, and so on.
- Divide the class into two teams.
- The first player has to come up with a rhyming word or two, depending on the level of the class. For better context, you may choose to have a two-line poem and have the player fill in the last word with a rhyming word.
- If he comes up with a correct rhyming word, he erases one part of the opposing team's man.
- If a team cannot think of a rhyming word, either give the other team a chance or pick a new word to rhyme.
- Continue playing until one rhyme man has completely disappeared.
Rhyming Word Bingo
Take the classic game of bingo and apply it to the world of rhyming word games!
- You must first create the game boards and call sheet ahead of time for this game. A free printable is available through The Measured Mom, but you can just as easily create your own.
- Each player or team is provided with a game board. The spots on the grid can be occupied either by images of items or by actual words. The grid does not need to correspond to the standard B.I.N.G.O. structure, as each space on the board can be independent and not directly related to all the words in the same column.
- The teacher calls out a word from the call sheet, like "boat."
- Players then look for a word on their respective game boards that rhyme with the called word. If the call word is "boat," they can match with a word on their board like "coat" or "goat."
- The first player to complete a horizontal, vertical, or diagonal line wins.
- Just as with regular bingo, the game can continue with additional patterns for winning.
This game can also be played one-on-one with a card deck, as demonstrated by this video from The Learning Staircase.
Rhyme That Word
This rhyming variation on the "Duck, Duck, Goose" dynamic gets the students up and on their feet.
- One student starts as the poet and walks around the room looking for help with rhyming.
- He stops behind a desk and asks the students for help rhyming a word.
- If the student answers correctly, then the poet sits down and the student becomes the new poet.
- This can continue for however long the poem is designated to be.
This can be adapted to any grade level. For example, if the students can read, the poet can have a card with the word written on it. The new poet can get another word from a stack. If the students are not reading yet, then the teacher can provide the word. More advanced students may adapt this game to write a sonnet together, following the correct rhyme scheme to go with it.
Rhyme Hunt is like a scavenger hunt.
- Come up with a list of several groups of rhyming words, ensuring that each group has the same number of words. For instance, you might have one set of 10 words that all rhyme with "set," like "met" and "debt." And then you might have another set of 10 words that all rhyme with "mane," like "reign" and "windowpane."
- Write each of the individual words on index cards and place them all around the classroom.
- Divide the class into the same number of teams as you have sets of rhyming words. If you have three sets, then you should divide the students into three teams as well.
- Give each team their "starter" word, so they'll know which rhyming words they should try to find.
- The first team to find all their rhyming words wins.
In an alternative version of Rhyme Hunt, teams can be provided with a list of several non-rhyming words. They must then find these words in the classroom. When they find one, a team member must come up with a word that rhymes with it, striking it off their list. The team that strikes all the words off their list first wins.
Classroom Rhyming Games Are Fun!
Learning all about rhyming words can be a lot of fun for students of all ages and knowledge levels. This is especially true in the case of rhyming games, as the element of play is introduced into the classroom. For more in this area, check out Games to Play with Children to Build Vocabulary too.