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ALLITERATION - Teaching Tip by Pam Schiller, Ph.D.

Alliteration is an important literacy concept for children to learn. It requires that children listen intently and are   able to discriminate the repetition of an initial sound. It precedes a child's ability to make sound/symbol relationships. For example, for pre-kindergarten children, it is important that they are able to tell you the sound they hear and less important that they can identify the letter that makes the sound.

Here are some simple ways to teach alliteration.
        -  Recite poems, chants, nursery rhymes with repeating initial sounds.
        -  Sing songs with alliteration such as Miss Mary Mack and Ram Sam Sam.
        -  Find a group of items that all have the same initial sounds,
        -  Play with tongue twisters.

A Sample Alliteration Lesson

Chocolate Chip Cookies - CD from Rockin' Reading Readiness, authors:  Ron Hiller, Beth DeVolder, Dr. Pam Schiller

Objective: To recognize the repetition of an initial sound (alliteration).


Literacy Lesson

             -  Print chocolate chips on chart paper. Have the children say chocolate chips several times. Underline the /ch/ in each word. Pronounce the words slowly and ask children to listen to the repetition of sounds. Can they hear the /ch/ sound repeated?

             -  Tell the children that today they will practice listening for the repetitive sound /ch/. Remind them that the repetition of beginning sounds of several words in a row is called alliteration.


            -  Play "Ch-Ch-Ch-Chocolate Chip Cookies" (Rockin' Reading Readiness CD, Kimbo Educational).  Encourage the children to sing along with the song.

  Ch ch ch chocolate chip…(ba dump ba dump)…k k k cookies
  Ch ch ch chocolate chip…(ba dump ba dump…k k k cookies
  Ch ch ch chocolate chip…(ba dump ba dump)… k k k cookies
  It's chocolate chip cookies a choosy child chews

  Chocolate chip cookies, you gotta have more
  Bake 'em in the oven, or buy 'em at the store
  They're yummy in your tummy, so hard to refuse
  It's chocolate chip cookies a choosy child chews

  You make 'em with sugar, with butter and flour
  Put 'em in the oven 'bout a quarter of an hour
  There's batter on the beaters to lick if you choose
  It's chocolate chip cookies a choosy child chews

  Chocolate chip cookies - have 'em for tea
  Serve 'em to your teddy and your chimpanzee
  Every crumby is so yummy, that's why it's true
  It's chocolate chip cookies a choosy child chews

- Ask children which words in the song had the /ch/ sound.

- Print "It's chocolate chip cookies a choosy child chews" on chart paper. Underline each /ch/ sound.

 Practice (Literacy Centers and Small Groups)
- Teach the children some simple tongue twisters.
  She sells seashells by the seaside.
  How much wood would a wood chuck chuck
  If a wood chuck could chuck wood.

- Have the children try saying these words three times quickly.
Big black bear 
Six sick sheep
- Serve chocolate chip cookies for snack. Ask the children to think of other snacks that have alliterative sounds. For example, peppermint patties, buttered bread, crumb cake, candy corn and so on.

- If you created an alliterative name for yourself what would it be?

- Can you think of a Disney character with an alliterative name? 

- Or--Which of the following Disney characters have alliterative names; Donald Duck, Goofy, Mickey Mouse, Pluto, Daisy Duck.

Pam Schiller is an early childhood consultant, author, popular speaker and radio and television spokesperson. She is an expert in the area of early brain development and early childhood literacy.  Dr. Schiller is well known as an author of numerous teacher and parent resource books, preschool curriculums, children's books, as well as award-winning recordings for Kimbo Educational.  Her CD's include:  Where Is Thumbkin? and Here Is Thumbkin (co-author:  Thomas Moore), Laugh 'N Learn Literacy (Silly) Songs, Leaping Literacy, Rockin' Reading Readiness and her New Release, Start Smart Songs for 1's, 2's & 3's.


Previous Tips

•  A Case for Laughing Giggling and Having Fun 
   Activity Tips (11/05) - Pam Schiller, Ph.D.

•  Connecting Music and Literacy
   Activity Tips (8/05) - Pam Schiller, Ph.D.

•  The Learning Station: Teaching with Songs in Your Heart
   Activity Tips (7/04) - Laurie Monopoli

•  Bean Bag
   Activity Tips (3/04) - Christina Chapman

•  Activities to Integrate Music and Language Arts
   Activity Tips (8/03) - Cindy H. Clark, MMed, MT-BC

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