Vermont Folklife Center

Reader Activities:

Rhyme Time

When Daisy Turner was a little girl, there were no radios, TV’s, movies, computers, CD players or VCR’s. For entertainment, Daisy and her family often told stories, played word games and made up rhymes and poems. As you saw, Daisy could instantly make up a poem even while standing on a stage in front of an audience of adults!

How about you? Can you make up instant rhymes and poems?

One way to get warmed up is to play the following rhyme game. You can play it by yourself of with others—though it’s most fun playing it with others.

Here is a list of words to get you started:

pie, cat, star,
hay, deer, bear,
book, bone, pain
blue, pocket, lip,
crow, jump, hot, fish

Tell Me a Word

Players sit in a circle and one player says, “Tell me a word that rhymes with _______,” and he says a word. Then, one by one, each player has five seconds to call out a word that rhymes with it. For example, if the first player says, “Tell me a word that rhymes with ‘bake’,” the next player might say “cake,” the player after that “rake,” the player after that “flake,” and so on. If a player can’t think of a rhyming word, he or she is out. The winner is the last person left.

A Rhyming Poem

Now, all by yourself, think of a subject you like and write a rhyming poem about it. Your poem can be about anything—your pet, a family member, a season, a favorite relative, a holiday, an animal, a planet—anything! Try to make your poem at least two lines long, and longer if you can. Try to make the last words in each pair of lines rhyme. For example:

My dog named Ginger loves to play
With a tennis ball on a rainy day.

Have fun with the rhymes. When you’ve finished your poem, read it to your family. Then take a bow. After all, you’re a poet. Daisy Turner would be proud of you!

For Older Poets: A Guided Poem

Of course, to write a poem, you don’t have to use words that rhyme (though it’s OK if you do). All you have to do is write what your heart tells you to write. The subject can be anything. Answer these questions about spring. String your answers together, one after another. The poetic result might surprise you!

What is the sound of spring?

You might begin...”Spring is the sound of...” and go on from there, feeling free to add other sounds.

  • What is the smell of spring?
    “It is the smell of...”
  • In spring, what does the air taste like?
    “In spring, the air tastes like...”
  • What does a spring breeze feel like against your face?
    “Its breeze against my face is like...”
  • What does the spring sun feel like?
    “The spring sun feels like...”
  • What do the children do in the spring?
    “The children...”
  • What else do they do?
    “They ...”
  • What do you do in the spring?
    “In spring, I...”
  • How does the grass feel under your feet?
    “The grass beneath my feet feels...”
  • What do you feel in your heart?
    “My heart feels...”
  • If you could talk to the spring, what would you say to it?
    “To spring, I say...”
  • What else would you say to it?
    “I say...”

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