How to Teach Alliteration -- A Lesson Plan

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In literature, alliteration refers to the use of the same beginning consonant sounds in two or more adjacent words. It is used for emphasis in poetry, advertising and everyday speech. The common phrases “fickle finger of fate” and “long lost love” are examples of alliteration. Often students are introduced to alliteration with other poetic devices in early elementary school.

1 Alliteration Introduction

Display a sentence such as “Six squirrels saw seven swans swimming” for students. Read it aloud several times and have students repeat it. Ask students what they notice about the phrase, and list their comments on a chart. Students should comment about the beginning letters and sounds. After some discussion, write the word "alliteration" at the top of the page. Explain that this is a term used to describe a phrase or sentence in which all the words begin with the same sound. Provide time for students to practice creating examples of alliteration aloud. Add these to the class chart.

2 ABC Read Aloud

Read "Dr. Seuss’s ABC" aloud to students. In this book, each letter is presented with an alliteration. After reading the book aloud once, return to the beginning and display the pages one at a time for students. Instruct pairs of students to decide on another word to add to each of Seuss’ alliterations in a way that makes sense. Have a few students share their modified Seuss alliteration with the class before moving to the next letter. Continue the activity as long as students are engaged and offering examples.

3 Alliteration Race

Practice creating alliteration with a relay race. Place letters of the alphabet in a bag and divide the class into teams. Students take a letter from the bag and race to a table, where they write an alliteration sentence for that letter on a strip of paper. Determine the number of same-sound words that are required to win a point based on students' ages and development. Have students hang the alliterations in a designated location before returning to the team to tag the next person. Play continues until everyone has successfully written one alliteration. Modify the game for younger or special needs students using oral responses for a point rather than writing the alliteration.

4 Alliteration Authors

Choose a few samples of alliteration picture books to read with students. After reading the alliteration picture books aloud, instruct students to write their own alliteration picture book. Before writing, students should brainstorm a list of letters for creating alliterations, write an alliteration sentence for each and sketch out a rough draft picture. Hold a writing conference with each student to assist her with revising and editing her book. Provide students with a page template or blank book for publishing their work. Use cardstock or poster board to create a sturdy cover for each student’s book.

Elizabeth Stover, an 18 year veteran teacher and author, has a Bachelor of Science in psychology from the University of Maryland with a minor in sociology/writing. Stover earned a masters degree in education curriculum and instruction from the University of Texas, Arlington and continues to work on a masters in Educational Leadership from University of North Texas. Stover was published by Creative Teaching Press with the books "Science Tub Topics" and "Math Tub Topics."