Alliteration Lesson for Kids: Definition & Examples

Instructor: Shelley Vessels

Shelley has taught at the middle school level for 10 years and has a master's degree in teaching English.

Alliteration is a sound device that poets and writers use to appeal to the listener's ear. Read the following lesson to learn about alliteration and how to use it in your own writing!

What is Alliteration?

Alliteration is a fun fan favorite. Alliteration punctuates poetry and prose. What could it be?

Alliteration is a repetition of consonant sounds at the beginning of words. It is a technique, called a sound device, that writers use to draw your attention to particular points in a piece of writing. Consider it 'highlighting' for your ear. With an alliterative phrase, the reader tunes in and listens closer.

Where Does Alliteration Appear?

Does this lesson have any alliterative phrases in it that you read already? Yes, you have already read some examples!

In the first sentence, there is the sequence 'fun fan favorite.' The 'F' sound repeats. And, how about in the second sentence? Did you find any? The phrase 'punctuates poetry and prose' is also alliterative because the 'P' sound repeats.

Do you know anyone with an alliterative name? Do you have one?

Some famous alliterative names include: Herbert Hoover, Fred Flintstone, Marilyn Monroe, Willy Wonka, Ronald Reagan, and Pablo Picasso.

Why isn't the name, Shel Silverstein, alliterative?

While both names start with the same letter, they don't start with the same 'sound.' The sound is what is important to alliteration, not the letter.

Alliteration in Poetry

Speaking of Shel Silverstein, a great example of alliteration in poetry exists in his piece, 'Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout Would Not Take the Garbage Out.'

Why is 'Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout' alliterative? Even though the names start with, at times, different letters, the sound is the same. Say it aloud, and you'll hear it.

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