Strategy

Alliteration Prompting

UDL 2.3 UDL 3.2

Alliteration Prompting is an early literacy strategy in which a teacher engages students in interactive exercises that prompt students to identify words that begin with the same sound in order to build phonemic awareness. The teacher uses phrases, reads books (e.g., “Silly Sally”), sings songs (e.g., "Miss Mary Mack") and plays games (e.g., word sorts) that include alliteration. While exposing students to alliteration, the teacher uses prompting to challenge students to identify the repetitive letter and/or sound (e.g., “Which words did I read that begin with the same sound?”). Alliteration Prompting effectively highlights the beginning sounds of words in an engaging way to help young learners isolate phonemes, supporting the development of phonemic awareness.

Implementation Tips

Introducing Alliteration
Break down the concept of phoneme isolation by first guiding students’ understanding of phonemic concepts (e.g., identifying letters, corresponding sounds, initial sounds). When students have demonstrated proficiency, introduce Alliteration Prompting.
Sorting Exercises
Prepare students for Alliteration Prompting by integrating sound sort exercises. Print out labeled pictures and have students sort them by their beginning sounds (e.g., ball, bat, bag).
Using Literature
Read aloud relevant, engaging picture books to practice Alliteration Prompting (e.g., [[https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51lbNnW%2B9pL._SX367_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg| Dr. Seuss's ABC: An Amazing Alphabet Book]], [[https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51UBqnzGaNL.jpg| Silly Sally]]). Exaggerate the initial sounds in a series of alliterative words and then prompt students to identify the common sounds.
Casual Exchanges
Use repetitive sounds in daily language that is reflective of alliteration (e.g., “I have some silly students!”; “If you are a listening learner raise your hand!”). Encourage students to point out moments when they hear alliteration in daily language.
Alliterative Writing
Integrate writing into Alliterative Prompting to support students in visually connecting the beginning letters in print, with the beginning word sounds. Prompt students to complete an alliterative sentence, using writing or dictation (e.g., My name is Gabriel and I like Goldfish.).
Songs and Rhymes
Utilize songs and rhymes with alliteration (e.g., [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sOOZQZlxxC4| Willoughby Wallaby Woo]], [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8SygZRf9tw| She Sells Sea Shells]], [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7lPv3LdUiyc| Peter Piper]]) to increase engagement. Encourage interaction by directing students to signal alliteration recognition through non-verbal cues (e.g., raise hands when the /m/ sound is heard).
Integrating throughout the Day
Integrate Alliteration Prompting throughout content instruction and learning centers to support students’ phonemic understanding. Label classroom stations, materials and activities with alliterative names (e.g., pattern play, math manipulatives).

Examples

Whole Group Prompting
Following several days of integrating Alliteration Prompting, the teacher prepares an interactive Circle Time mini-lesson. The teacher says, "Today we are going to write some super-silly sentences. I will start. My name is Pat and I like purple plums." The teacher then writes the silly sentence on a large piece of chart paper. The teacher asks students to share what they noticed about the silly sentence. Once the group has identified and reviewed the concept of alliteration, the teacher says, "Today, all of us will make silly sentences using the beginning sounds of our names." The teacher then uses the sentence frame, *(Child’s name) likes, (adjective) (noun)*, to support each student in developing a silly sentence. As each student shares, the teacher dictates the silly sentences onto the chart paper, which the teacher labels and displays as an alliteration anchor chart.
Integrating Alliteration in Daily Activities
A teacher has asked students to signal a thumbs-up when they hear words that begin with the same sounds. Then, the teacher intentionally integrates Alliteration Prompting throughout the course of the day. At circle time the teacher asks the “smiling students” to be “listening learners.” During reader's workshop, the teacher reads aloud [[https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/81B2K2515SL.gif | Princess Prunella and the Purple Peanut]]. At the end of the day, the teacher wraps up with “singing a silly song with super-silly students,” titled, [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TSw1BXbJilU| Betty Botter]]. Throughout the day, after each instance of alliteration, the teacher scans the class to look for the thumbs-up signal. The teacher provides reinforcement each time students identify an alliteration. In cases where students do not signal recognition of alliterative words, the teacher uses repetition, exaggerating the beginning sounds.

Related Strategies