Mrs. Barnhart's Poetry Page
Alliteration, Consonance, Assonance
Sound devices that add to the aural appeal in your poetry include alliteration, consonance, and assonance. Alliteration may be easier to identify than the other two, but each is used frequently in poetry and children's literature.
Alliteration: Repetition of initial sounds of words in a row. Example: Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers. (Of course, alliteration is not always so concentrated)
Assonance: Repetition of internal vowel sounds of words close together in poetry. Example: I made my way to the lake.
Consonance: Repetition of internal or ending consonant sounds of words close together in poetry. Example: I dropped the locket in the thick mud.
Author's of children's book use these devices, along with rhythm and rhyme, very effectively to attract young ears. Read the following excerpt from Miss Spider's Wedding by David Kirk and identify the various ways he achieves the pleasing aural quality.
"They talked of all their dreams and hopes,
Of art and nature, love and fate.
They peered through toy kaleidoscopes
And murmured thoughts I shan't relate.
Then Holley held Miss Spider's hand...
I'll say no more, you understand.
For private moments between spiders
Should not be witnessed by outsiders."
Now try this excerpt from Parts by Tedd Arnold.
"I just don't know what's going on
But every day it's something worse.
I think it was three days ago
That in my comb were caught a couple
I stared at them, amazed, and more
To think that I was only five
Create three stanzas that would begin a children's book about a catepillar and a mouse. Use a variety of sound devices to give the stanzas a pleasing aural quality.
Using the sound devices, create a new tongue twister to bring to class. The tongue twister should be at least four lines long.