Rhyming is an important part of the early childhood experience, both in and out of the classroom. But WHY is teaching rhyming to young children so important?
After posting about teaching children letters, a friend of mine (from my kindergarten days) asked me about teaching rhyming. She works with kindergarten English Language Learners and wanted more ideas about how to incorporate rhyming. In speaking to her, I was inspired to write a short series about rhyming in early childhood.
What is rhyming?
Yes, I’m sure all of you already know that rhyming words sound the same at the end! 🙂 It’s a phonemic awareness skill, meaning that it’s all about manipulating oral language. Rhyming is just a part of phonemic awareness . . . of working with language, sounds within language, and playing with language.
Why is teaching rhyming important?
Oh, teaching rhyming is important for so many reasons! To begin with, a multitude of research has shown a correlation between rhyming mastery and eventual reading preparedness. Now, if your child isn’t a rhyming machine right now, please don’t freak out! This doesn’t mean she’s going to be a below-average reader when she’s older. It just means that you can incorporate more rhyming activities into your day. I’ll be touching on that later on this week, so keep an eye out.
On top of that, rhyming helps kids improve their oral language skills overall. It helps them to playfully manipulate their language, which gives them a kind of “permission” to manipulate language in other ways. Children have more ownership over their language when they’re encouraged to change it and play with how they speak.
As previously mentioned, rhyming is an aspect of phonemic awareness (awareness of how to listen to, identify, and change around the sounds in spoken language). Phonemic awareness lays the groundwork for written language. Rhyming is a precursor to learning how to read and write.
Rhyming is fun. It just is, especially when kids get to throw in some of their own nonsense words. This sense of fun shows children the learning can be entertaining and interesting!
The Rhyming Series
This is part of a week-long series of posts regarding teaching kids about rhyming. Click below to be directed to the rest of the series.
Do you have any questions about teaching children how to rhyme? If so, I would love to hear them!
originally published April 15, 2013