Celebrate Halloween with a standards-based poetry lesson! Focus on rhyme scheme with this free activity! Your upper elementary and middle school students will love writing spooky poems!
Anticipatory Activity: Why do Poems Rhyme?
Start your Halloween poetry lesson by analyzing the purpose of rhyme in poetry. Use think-pair-share to get students thinking about the different reasons why poets use rhyme. Create a bubble map describing “Why Poems Rhyme” as students share their ideas with the class. Several reasons are listed below if you need something to get your students started.
- Creates a pattern
- Fun to listen to
- Easy to remember
- Create emotion, feeling, or meaning
- Gives the poem structure
- Ties words together
- Creates relationships
- Creates a musical quality
Introduction: Rhyme Scheme
Before students can understand rhyme scheme, they will need to know how to identify a stanza. Like other forms of writing, poetry needs to be organized. Stanzas give poems a structure for organization. They break up the poem into smaller parts. It’s helpful to think of stanzas like paragraphs. Stanzas can have varying amounts of lines, just like paragraphs can have varying amounts of sentences.
A stanza with two lines is called a couplet.
A stanza with three lines is called a tercet.
A stanza with four lines is called a quatrain.
What is rhyme scheme?
Rhyme scheme describes the pattern of rhyming words in a poem. Analyze a stanza to determine the rhyme scheme. Assign a letter to the word at the end of each line. Words that rhyme get the same letter. Always start with “A,” then “B,” etc.
Rhyme Scheme Examples
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall (A)
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall (A)
All the king’s horses and all the king’s men (B)
Couldn’t put Humpty together again (B)
Rhyme Scheme: AABB
Roses & Violets
Roses are red (A)
Violets are blue (B)
I’m out of my head (A)
Thinking of you (B)
Rhyme Scheme: ABAB
Mary Had a Little Lamb
Mary had a little lamb (A)
It’s fleece was white as snow (B)
Everywhere that Mary went (C)
The lamb was sure to go (B)
Rhyme Scheme: ABCB
I Do: Rhyme Scheme Practice
Have students watch as you work through the rhyme scheme for each of the stanzas listed below. It might be helpful to write or underline rhyming words to give students a strong visual of the rhyme scheme.
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
Twinkle twinkle little star (___)
How I wonder what you are (___)
Up above the world so high (___)
Like a diamond in the sky (___)
Rhyme Scheme: (______)
Jack Be Nimble
Jack be nimble (__)
Jack be quick (__)
Jack jump over (__)
The candlestick (__)
Rhyme Scheme: (______)
We Do: Read Aloud
Read Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson and Ten Timid Ghosts by Jennifer O’Connell aloud to your class. Let students work together to identify the rhyme scheme in each book.
Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson
Ten Timid Ghosts by Jennifer O’Connell
You Do: Writing Activity
Students write their own one or two stanza Halloween poem using a specific rhyme scheme. Sharing the finished poems is a ton of fun, especially if students add an illustration! If students need more support, have them follow the steps below to write their poem.
- use the ABCB rhyme scheme
- think of a pair of words that rhyme (bright, night)
- write a one stanza poem with the rhyming words in the correct place
Focus on pumpkins with the differentiated reading and writing activity linked below!
Pumpkins Reading & Writing Activities | Standards Aligned
“Such a great resource to use during the fall holiday season! Great language arts activities. You can easily extend from this.” -Juliana F.