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Cloze activities
Rhyming poetry easily lends itself to end rhyme cloze activities. This is a very simple but terrific activity for encouraging active listening and for strengthening the use of context clues. It also reinforces the concept of rhyme, develops vocabulary, and can lead to discussions about concepts such as word choice and the tools of poetry such as alliteration, assonance, internal rhymes, and imagery.

Begin by selecting a poem with an AABB rhyme pattern. Here are a few examples taken from Tall Tales of the Wild West (And a Few Short Ones).

* The Barrel Race
* Horse Sense
* Mulligan Martinson Marley McGraw
* The Great Chili Cook-Off
* The Prospector
* A Cowboy's Lullaby

As you read the selected poem out loud to your students, stop at the last word (the rhyming word) of every other line and wait for the students to call it out.

As a written activity, distribute typed copies of the poem, but leave a blank for each rhyming word. Have the students write the missing word in.

Example: (Taken from the poem The Prospector)
Miss Polly May, so we are told,
would spend her seasons panning _________.
She'd grit her teeth and hope and dream
and thrust her pan into the _________.

After the students have finished, share answers as a class and discuss why they selected the words they did.
















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