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Lesson Plans
Vocabulary Building: Animal Alliteration
3rd–5th Grade
Objectives Objectives
  • Students will identify alliteration as a literary tool.
  • Students will build their vocabulary by listing descriptive words that begin with each letter of the alphabet.
Materials Materials Needed
Introduction Introduction

Introduce students to the concept of alliteration by realing aloud Animalia by Graeme Base. Ask, “What did you notice about the animal names and the words that the author is using to describe them?” (The words begin with the same letter.) Explain that this is called alliteration. Tell students that alliteration is a literary tool that writers use to add emphasis to words or create a certain mood or rhythm in their writing.

Procedure Procedure

  1. Provide each student with an “Alphabet Alliteration” pre-writing sheet.
  2. Instruct students to quietly brainstorm at least one animal for each letter of the alphabet. Give students five to 10 minutes to work on their own or in small groups.
  3. Invite students to raise their hands and share some of the animals from their lists. Encourage students to listen for any animals they may want to add to their own lists.
  4. Prompt students to think of descriptive words for each animal that start with the same letter as the animal’s name (e.g., angry alligator, magnificent monkey, violet vulture, zany zebra and so on). Encourage students to be creative with their adjectives!

Independent Practice Independent Practice

  1. Once students understand the concept of alliteration, assign each student a letter of the alphabet. Explain that students will be writing a sentence about an animal whose name starts with their letter.
  2. Have students look through a dictionary to find additional words that start with their assigned letter. Prompt them to look for verbs as well as other nouns and adjectives. Instruct them to add the new words to their lists.
  3. Give each student a sheet of construction paper and crayons or markers. Challenge students to write a sentence about an animal using alliteration. Encourage students to be as serious or as whimsical as they want. For example, students could write “Ellie the Elephant eats eggplant every day,” “The giant giraffe gestures gently to the gerbil,” or “The quail was quietly quilting.”
  4. Instruct students to write their sentence on the bottom half of their paper. Invite them to illustrate their sentence on the top half of their paper.
  5. Bind the pages together in alphabetical order to create a class book!

View the 3rd–5th Grade lesson plan. (Includes all printable materials.)
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