Lesson 3: Rhyming words (developing phonological and orthographical knowledge)

Links to the Victorian Curriculum – English

English, Speaking and Listening, Language: Phonics and word knowledge


  • Identify rhyming words, alliteration patterns, syllables and some sounds (phonemes) in spoken words (VCELA168)

Level 1: 

  • Manipulate phonemes by addition, deletion and substitution of initial, medial and final phonemes to generate new words (VCELA204)

Links to the Victorian Curriculum – English as an Additional Language (EAL)

Pathway A

Speaking and listening

Level A2:

  • Identify and produce phonemes in blends or clusters at the beginning and end of syllables (VCEALL110)

Pathway B

Reading and viewing

Level BL:

Level B1:

  • Identify common syllables and patterns within words (VCEALL288)

Theory/practice connections

In this lesson, students enjoy the playful use of rhyming language. Listening to the story provides an excellent opportunity to develop this aspect of phonological awareness as they practise the ability to recognise and learn the concept of rhyme in spoken words.

They explore graphophonic knowledge by looking at different ways of representing the same sounds with graphemes or written letters.

Learning intentions

We are learning that some words in English rhyme, that is, when we say them we hear the same sound at the end of the words.We are learning that the same sound in English can be written using different letters.

Success criteria

I can hear and identify rhyming words when I listen to a story.

I can identify some of the different letter patterns that make the same sounds in written words.

Role of the writer

Text encoder - representing the same sounds in words with different letters

Group size 

Whole class, or small group (4-6 students).

Lesson process

  1. Reread the picture book aloud to students for pleasure.
  2. Return to the first page. Ask students to close their eyes and open their ears and listen for words that rhyme or end with the same sound while you read the text.
  3. After reading ask for students’ responses and list these on a chart.
  4. Repeat with subsequent pages. After a few pages, the chart might look like this: example chart lesson 3 (docx - 23.26kb)
  5. Choose 1-2 lists and brainstorm other words that sound the same. Add these to the list (see words in blue). Ask students to look for patterns. What do you notice about the rhyming words? Discuss that most rhyming words like say/way and pig/wig end with same spelling pattern while Trevor/never are spelled differently but make the same sound. Underline or write the rime of each word in another colour. (Remember the rime is the end part of a syllable including the vowel and any consonants attached, eg, the –ay in say)
  6. Display charts in classroom with an envelope of blank cards attached to the bottom. As students come across other words that rhyme with say/way or pig/wig in their writing and reading they can write each new word on a card and add to relevant list. Lists can be revisited during subsequent lessons to reinforce spelling knowledge or to support reading and writing.
  7. Rhyming words could be written separately onto cards. Use cards to play card games such as Snap or Memory.
  8. In interactive writing, teacher can guide students in spelling new words by using knowledge of rhyming words (this strategy is also known as analogy), that is, the teacher might say, We know how to spell say, so how can we use that to help us spell way?


The spelling patterns that the teacher selects from the picture book are matched to identified needs after assessment of the students’ reading and writing. If this lesson is conducted for a small group of students, teacher can choose students with like needs for targeted teaching.

ABC Education Literacy Mini Lessons

The Department collaborated with ABC Education to create a series of videos. All 16 mini lessons based on content from the Literacy Teaching Toolkit are available on the ABC Education literacy mini lessons page.