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Teaching Alliteration

Instructor: Wendy A. Garland

Wendy has a Ph.D. in Adult Education and a Master's Degree in Business Management. She has 10 years experience working in higher education.

This lesson will define and discuss different types of alliteration. It will also address alliteration teaching strategies for various academic levels from preschool to high school.

Differentiating Alliteration and Examples

Did you know that alliteration is derived from latira, the Latin word for letters of the alphabet? It makes it a bit confusing because it's not about the same letter, but actually the same sound. Alliteration is using the same sound repetitiously in a sentence or phrase. When teaching alliteration, it is important to focus on this and not simply looking for the same letters.

For example, climate change is not alliteration even though both words start with the same letter; whereas flip phone is alliteration due to the same f and ph sound. Most often, however, the words that make alliterations have both the same sound and letter, such as delicious donut and weeping willows. Teachers just need to be aware to clarify this to students so they fully understand alliteration.

Teaching Strategies

Although alliteration is first introduced in preschool, teachers should continually reinforce learning and help students develop a deeper understanding as they mature.

Preschool

  • Tongue twisters - One of the easiest ways to introduce students to alliteration is through fun tongue twisters such as Sally sells seashells by the seashore and Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers. Reading aloud and having students repeat silly phrases help with the understanding of similar sounds. At this stage, students will not fully understand alliteration, but it introduces the concept at an early age.
    Sally sells seashells by the seashore.

Elementary School

  • Writing tongue twisters - Teachers can build on tongue twisters by having students write their own. If students are having a difficult time matching sounds, teachers can create a word wall to help get them started. This will help students identify words that have similar starting sounds and not just letters and they can use this to help prompt their writing.
  • Acrostic poems - Have students create acrostic poems using their name or a special word. For each letter of the word, students should write words or phrases about the main word.
  • Fictional characters - Younger students can also identify with their favorite cartoon or fiction character such as Bugs Bunny, Mickey Mouse, or Peter Parker. Ask students which other cartoons or figures have alliteration in their names. (Hint for upper elementary students: Harry Potter characters have many!)

Middle School

  • Branding and Marketing - Students can identify various brands and slogans that use alliteration. PowerPoint, Coca-Cola, and Best Buy are examples of popular brands and products. Teachers can ask students to write slogans for products using alliteration and discuss how this is a way advertising departments help build brand recognition. Creating posters with their own brands and slogans can help them see the value in using alliteration in marketing.

Coca-Cola is a brand alliteration.

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