Assonance Lesson for Kids: Definition & Examples

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  • 0:04 What Is Assonance?
  • 0:53 Example
  • 1:19 Let's Test Your Skills!
  • 3:07 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Shelley Vessels

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

Assonance is a fun sound device that you can add to your poetry and prose. Once you learn about assonance, you'll be able to notice it everywhere. Read the following lesson, and you may be able to add a little spark to your writing with assonance!

What Is Assonance?

Assonance belongs in a broader category of word play called sound devices. In poetry and prose, sound devices are patterns of qualities within words that appeal to the writer's sense of hearing.

Assonance is an especially fun, yet subtle sound device that consists of a series of vowel sounds in non-rhyming words. Remember: it's the vowel sound, not the vowel.

Since poetry is meant to 'live off the page' and be read aloud, when the audience listens carefully, they will be able to hear the pattern of assonance. Poets use it, musicians use it, and some writers use it, too. Any time you hear assonance, your ear automatically tunes in and listens a little closer. Your ear may notice assonance naturally, but your eyes may have more difficulty finding this in writing. You may need to read a piece of writing aloud more than one time to recognize assonance.


Read this sentence aloud to hear the example of assonance. Think about what vowel sound is being repeated.

'Mike likes white stripes on his bike.'

What is being repeated? The long 'I' sound is being repeated in the words: Mike, likes, white, stripes, and bike.

Notice that the vowel sound is being repeated, but not all of the words rhyme with each other. If both of these statements are true, and in this case they are, you have assonance.

Let's Test Your Skills!

This next quote from Shel Silverstein's Where the Sidewalk Ends has two examples of assonance in it. Read it aloud (maybe even more than once) to figure out the vowel pattern.

Note: it's not as obvious as the example given before. Many times, assonance adds just a touch of flair to a piece; it doesn't dominate it.

'And there the moon-bird rests from his flight\ To cool in the peppermint wind.'

What did you find? First, in the phrase 'to cool,' the long 'U' sound keeps repeating. Secondly, in 'peppermint wind,' there is a short 'I' sound that repeats. If you didn't hear the sounds the first time, read them again and listen carefully.

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