Rhyming is an important step toward reading because it teaches kids to recognize patterns in words – a skill they’ll use when they learn spelling patterns later. Just like the activities included in our rhyming pack, these rhyming picture mats are a fun, hands-on way to help build rhyming confidence and skills in no time.
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The prep for this activity was quick and simple. I printed the mats and cards on cardstock to give them extra durability and cut apart the pieces.
(If you’ll be using the sort in a classroom, you may also want to laminate the sheets for added sturdiness.)
I chose a few mats for the kids to work on first so that they wouldn’t feel too overwhelmed.
We talked about how words that rhyme have the same ending sound. “Bat” and “cat” rhyme, “dog” and “log” rhyme and so on.
Listening to the last sound we hear in each word was quite tricky for some kids. I used the “cat” sorting mat first and explained that “cat”, “mat” and “hat” rhyme because they all end in the /-at/ sound.
We worked as a group to brainstorm other words that end in /-at/: rat, that, sat…
Then, I introduced some of the other rhyming picture mats like “tree.” Some kids picked it up quite easily and were able to think of other words that rhymed like “me”, “she” and “knee”. When it was time to complete the rhyming mats, I let those kiddos work on the entire set at once. They were ready for the challenge.
For kids that struggled with rhyming, I had them work on 2 or 3 rhyming mats at a time, giving them no more than six picture cards to choose from.
As they gained confidence and became more skilled at spotting words that rhyme, I added extra mats and pictures to their pile.
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