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 Repetition and Rhyme

Using Books that have a Repetitive Pattern


Repetition makes books predictable, and young readers love knowing what comes next.

What you'll need:

Books with repeated phrases or short rhyming poems

A few favorites are:

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst;
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin, Jr.;
Horton Hatches the Egg by Dr. Seuss;
The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper.
more books

There are many good booklists that highlight those books with repetitive refrains. (See Resources)

What to do:

1. Pick a story with repeated phrases or a poem you and your child like.

2. For example, read:
Wolf Voice:
Little pig, little pig, Let me come in.
Little Pig:
Not by the hair on my chinny-chin-chin.
Wolf Voice:
Then I'll huff and I'll puff, And I'll blow your house in!

After the wolf has blown down the first pig's house, your child will soon join in with the refrain.

3. Read slowly, and with a smile or a nod, let your children know you appreciate their participation.

4. As children grow more familiar with the story, pause and give them the chance to
"fill in the blanks."

5. Encourage your children to pretend to read, especially books that contain repetition and rhyme.
Most children who enjoy reading will eventually memorize all or parts of a book
and imitate your reading.

When youngsters anticipate what's coming next in a story or poem, they have a sense of mastery over books. When children feel power, they have the courage to try. Pretending to read is an important step in the process of learning to read.


This activity and more can be found at: http://www.ed.gov/pubs/parents/Reading/ReadAlong.html

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