Table of Contents
What is an Alliteration?
An alliteration is the repetition of letters or sounds that is used for emphasising or stressing importance. They usually happen when words that start with the same sound – not necessarily the same letter- are repeated within the same phrase or sentence.
Why and How Do We Use Alliterations?
We teach alliteration in primary schools because it’s a great way to explore texts and language at an early age. Alliterations are used in order to express and draw attention to something important within a sentence. It is also heavily used in poetry to create a rhythm – this helps the poem flow of our tongues easier. Alliterations always start with a consonant, that’s because vowels are not used to create the alliteration effect.
Eat Wisely – Poem by Alan Loren.
Franks and fries, and French fondue
Beans and burgers and biscuits too
Chicken, chili, and cheddar cheese
When I munch too much, I always sneeze!
Did you notice how easy and fun the poem was to read? Words such as Franks, Fries, French fondue almost sound like a song – this is because of the rhythm the alliteration provides.
So how would we apply this to a normal sentence? Look at the example below:
Normal sentence: “Carissa’s shop has so many colourful everyday-outfits, and it’s so cheap!”
Alliteration: “Clarissa sells colourful clothes that are casual and cheap”
Effect: Can you see how easier and more appealing the alliteration sentence is compared to the normal sentence? Thanks to alliteration we have created a more convincing phrase.
One fun fact about alliteration is that you can create your own tongue twisters, and it is so easy to do! Through alliteration, we can add words to our sentence and create what is known as a tongue twister:
Betty Botter bought some butter, but the butter, it was bitter. If she put it in her batter, it would make her batter bitter, but a bit of better butter, that would make her batter better.
The alliteration is the double ‘t’ and the ‘b’. Using repetition, the words create a challenging sentence. Tongue twisters can be used for creating a rushed rhythm with an emphasised effect in poetry or fictional writing.
Examples of Alliterations and Tongue Twisters for Children
Alliteration for primary schools examples:
- Nick’s nephew needed some new notebooks.
- Peter’s piglet pranced priggishly.
- Charlie is a chess champion.
- Quincy’s quilters quit quilting quickly.
- Eddie edits e-books.
Tongue twister for primary schools examples:
- Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers. A peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked.
- How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
- I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream.
- I saw Susie sitting in a shoeshine shop.
- Four fine fresh fish for you.
Alliteration for Primary Schools: Activities and Classroom Ideas
Alliteration for Primary School Activities
Create an alliteration with the words provided:
BIG / BRAVE / BEAR / BUNNIES / BROUGHT / BACK
- Top tip: you do not have to use all the words!
Create your own alliteration.
1.Think of something you would like to emphasise. E.g. the taste of chocolate, your favourite fruit, your family members.
2. Think of some words that will work well together. E.g. Sunny, Saturday, summer.
3. Create your sentence!
- Emile learning is fun!
- Emile, Enjoys, English.
- Emile Enjoys English classes!
Create a tongue twister with the words provided:
SHEEP / SLEEP/ SHOULD / SHED
Create your own tongue twister.
- Use the same working process as Activity Two, only this time try and make a narrative.
- Challenge yourself! How fast can you say your tongue twister without making a mistake?
- Top tip: Repeat words to make your tongue twister longer.
Poet Pat picks perfect poetry, if pat picks perfect poetry, how many perfect poems can poet Pat pick
Alliteration for Primary School Classroom Ideas
Identifying Alliterations – Superheroes and Cartoon Edition:
- Miles Morales (Spiderman)
- Peter Parker (Spiderman)
- Green Goblin (Spiderman)
- Fantastic Four
- Wonder Woman
- Peppa Pig
- Spongebob Squarepants, Pink Panther
- Donald Duck
- Postman Pat.
Group work, each student comes up with one word to create an alliteration.
Practise writing alliterations by creating an alliterative sentence for each person in class.
Crazy Cones Activity – this can either be done as a class activity or group work. How many crazy ice cream flavours can you come up with using alliteration?
This particular activity is a lot of fun and will be sure to bring plenty of giggles to your classroom.
Write a poem using alliteration – you can do this individually or in groups.
Common Misunderstandings in Alliteration for Primary Schools
Like most literary writing techniques, we can easily confuse alliterations for other writing techniques. A common misinterpretation of an alliteration is rhyme. A rhyme is the repetition of similar sounds stressed by syllables. This technique is usually used to create a flow or a rhythm within a text, whereas an alliteration is used to stress and emphasise with the use of repeating letters.
People can also confuse assonance with alliteration. However, assonance is the equivalent of alliteration for repeated vowel sounds. Assonance is also known as a ‘vowel rhyme’. Like alliteration, assonance is a repetition of similar sounds within a phrase or sentence. Although in assonance, only vowels are used to help form rhymes, not only in the beginning
or ending of sentence, but also throughout lending itself heavily to poetry.
E.g. The light of the fire is a sight – the vowel repetition is in the i.
Another common mistake is to overuse alliterations in a sentence. We understand the definition of alliteration to be the repetition of letters within a phrase/sentence to cause emphasis or to stress a certain topic. If we overuse alliteration, the emphasis and meaning is lost leaving us with a confusing sentence. A good way to avoid this is in the classroom is to stick to a maximum of four words – this gives your students enough content to learn from but not too much that could cause confusion.
Alliteration for Primary Schools and National Curriculum
Alliterations in primary schools are a great way to start teaching reading and writing poetry – amongst other fictional writings you must cover stated by the national education curriculum. Through alliteration, learning things such as what a sonnet is, or how to create a simple piece of fiction can be easier and more enjoyable.
However, alliterations in primary schools are looked at more in-depth in KS2 – Years 5 and 6. They come into consideration when discussing texts, and the effects of the language used within that text.