Grade: Elementary
Subject: Language

#667. Rhyme Family Contest

Language, level: Elementary
Posted Tue Oct 13 18:20:13 PDT 1998 by LuAnn Lawhon (
Most Pure Heart of Mary School, Topeka, KS, USA
Materials Required: computer with e-mail connection, ideally, in classroom
Activity Time: ten minutes a day or more: variable!
Concepts Taught: computer skills, language, math

Rhyme Family Contest

This project is designed to be a quick and easy!
Lesson objectives:
1. To give students and teachers a chance to work on a collaborative e-mail project that requires NO registration and NO great commitment of time!
2. To develop communication skills.
3. To develop phonics skills.
4. To develop math skills.

Lesson time line:

Tuesday, October 13, 1998:
This Lesson Plan will be posted in the Lesson Plan Bank and a notice will be sent out on the second grade mailring.

Monday, October 19, 1998:
Teachers present the Rhyme Family Contest in their classrooms.
MONDAY'S words should be: short a words, with only one syllable.
1. Introduce the idea of a "Rhyme Family."
For our project, a "rhyme family" is a group of rhyming real words (names can be accepted!) For example: at,bat,cat,that, Pat, pat, sat, chat
2. Try to find ALL the family members. If the family is small, try another family!
3. E-mail your family of words by replying to the "RHYME FAMILY CONTEST" post that appears on the second grade teachers mailring. (to be posted October 13)
4. Please e-mail only ONE family of words. Your class will have to decide! (Let THEM do it. The contest is "between" the rhyme families, not "between" our classrooms...we'll probably have a LOT of duplicate entries!)
5. If possible, have your students put the rhyme family words in alphabetical order. It will make it easier for everyone to compare rhyme families.

Tuesday, October 20, 1998:
Follow the same format as for Monday, EXCEPT, for Tuesday the rhyme families should have short e and one syllable. Your class may make predictions. Will short e families be easier or harder to find? Will the family be larger? At this point, you may want to set up a graph to show your work. (Monday, we sent a family of 12 words. Tuesday, the rhyme family contained ten words....)

Wednesday, October 21, 1998:
Short i words. One syllable.

Thursday, October 22, 1998:
Short o words. One syllable.

Friday, October 23, 1998:
Short u words. One syllable.

If possible, e-mail your alphabetized rhyme family on the day it is due. The project will still work if you choose to participate for one day or for all five.

To allow teachers a few days to "catch up," I won't compile all the data until Monday, October 26. I will post results in the Lesson Plan Bank as soon as possible! I will give it the title: Rhyme Family Contest Results.

However, you won't REALLY need those results to make the project work for your class. As the children take part in the project, they will be developing a number of skills. You have TOTAL freedom to decide how much or how little you want to do with your class. Here are some ideas:

1. IF you have a "connected" computer in your classroom, NOW is an ideal time to teach the students how to open e-mail (if they don't already know!) My second graders learned this quite easily. I taught the first few, and then they became "e-mail teachers." The children should learn to look for the SUBJECT of the e-mail, and only open the RHYME FAMILY CONTEST messages.

2. The short vowel sounds should be well-recognized at this time. However, the students will get good practice with spelling. They will also need to cooperate in order to find the BEST rhyme family to send for the day.

3. There are MANY math possibilities. You might want to begin the lesson by making a graph on the board. Instead of coloring in squares, write the rhyming words, beginning at the bottom. That way, children can compare families and decide which rhyme family to send to the contest!

4. If you have a connection in the classroom, check for e-mail twice a day. You can graph how many e-mail messages arrive in the morning and how many arrive in the afternoon.

5. Make predictions. How many different rhyme families will appear each day? How many classes will participate? Will those numbers be the same? (Venn diagrams?!)

6. Compare the volume of e-mail for each day of the week. Make up story problems. (If we receive ten e-mails on Monday and twelve on Tuesday, how many more came on Tuesday?)

7. Extend the lesson: if we used long vowel words instead of short vowel words, would the families be bigger? Why or why not? (The students MAY come up with the idea of homographs/homophones.)

If you are NOT on the second grade mail ring, and do not wish to join a mailring, you can still participate. Send your rhyme families directly to me at I will forward to you all rhyme families once the project is over. (I can't promise it on a daily basis! Sorry! This is supposed to be a quick and easy project for EVERYONE!)

This is my first attempt to initiate an e-mail project. My class had a great time joining in Lynn Heavens' "Year of the Reader" project. We found out about that project through a Teachers.Net chatboard. It required minimal commitment from us and no registration. (MY kind of project!) Yet there were WONDERFUL learning possibilities and the children in my class were highly motivated. I hope this project will work equally well for YOUR class! (MANY THANKS TO LYNN!)