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Alliteration in Poetry: Lesson for Kids

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  • 0:04 Alliteration
  • 0:57 Why Use Alliteration?
  • 1:36 Examples in Poetry
  • 3:10 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Heather Jenkins

Heather has a bachelor's degree in elementary education and a master's degree in special education. She was a public school teacher and administrator for 11 years.

'Sally sells seashells by the seashore.' This tongue twister isn't just hard to say, it's also an example of alliteration that could be found in different types of poetry. In this lesson, you will learn about alliteration in poetry.

Alliteration

''Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.'' If you've heard this sentence before, then you know it's hard to say once, let alone three times as fast as you can! By the third time you say it, you usually end up calling Peter a pickle who picks peepers!

This sentence is an example of alliteration, when the same sound is repeated at the beginning of words that are either next to or close to each other. In this case, the letter p is repeated in the words peter, piper, picked, peck, pickled, and peppers. Tongue twisters, like Peter Piper, are well known examples of alliteration that are difficult to say because the majority of the words start with the same sound.

Look at this image of a playground and see if you can use alliteration to describe something in it.


Playground
playground


Some examples of alliteration could be:

  • Rosie reads on the rocker.
  • Trent teeters on the tire bridge.
  • Mia meanders with her mom.

Why Use Alliteration?

Alliteration is a literary device, or something used in writing to help the reader better understand what the author is communicating. It's used by poets to draw the reader's attention to important information.

Think about trying to say a tongue twister quickly. It may not tie your tongue in a knot, but it is hard to do! When we encounter alliterations, it's natural for us to read more slowly. Even if you don't slow down when you come across alliteration, chances are you notice that it sounds different when you read it because of the repeating sounds. Whether you slow down to correctly read or say the words and stop to think about how different they sound, the poet has been successful in making you focus on or remember those words.

Examples in Poetry

Examples of alliteration can be found in Shel Silverstein's poem ''Bear in There.'' Read the poem here and see if you can spot the three examples of alliteration.

Example of alliteration in a Shel Silverstein poem
poem

The three examples of alliteration in the poem are:

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