Have a Ball with Rhymes

Jesse Bear What Will You Wear? Tales2go Audio Books

Standards and Objective

Help reinforce patterns of sound with this small group activity that offers preschoolers and kindergartners an opportunity to boost their appreciation of rhyme and to practice this important pre-reading skill.


  • A ball

Tales2go Titles

  • Bats at the Beach By Brian Lies
  • Bats at the Library By Brian Lies
  • Rosie Wrong Rhyme (song) By Debbie and Friends
  • How Do Dinosaurs Get Well By Jane Yolen and Mark Teague
  • How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight By Jane Yolen and Mark Teague


After listening to a rhyming story, such as Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear? find a place where you and a small group of children can sit comfortably in a circle on the floor.  Talk about the what they just heard and remind students what rhyming words sound like, giving some examples from the story: red, head; sand, hand; etc.

Explain that you are going to play a rhyming game using the ball. You will roll the ball to a child you call by name and then offer two words. If the words rhyme, the child should roll the ball back to you. If the words don’t rhyme, he should keep the ball until you offer a pair of words that rhyme. If you do offer rhyming words and the child does not hear the rhyme, try repeating your earlier examples from the book. Continue around the circle several times so everyone has multiple chances to identify rhyming words.

Extensions and Variations

In the story, Jesse Bear dresses for a typical day. Encourage children to think about what Jesse Bear might wear for different kind of day or a special occasion. Ask them to create their own rhymes for what Jesse Bear might wear to school or to a party. Give them an example, such as “Jesse Bear, what will you wear? What will you wear to school? My jeans of blue because they’re brand new.” You may want to work together to brainstorm a word bank of rhyming words for various colors before kids start writing.  Also plan time for children to draw or color a picture of their well-dressed bear.

Instead of first rolling the ball to a child to identify two rhyming words, say one word and then roll the ball to a child you call by name. The child must give a word that rhymes with your word to roll it back to you. Continue around the circle several times so everyone has multiple chances to rhyme.

About Phonemic Awareness

Phonemic Awareness is when a reader knows that spoken words are made up of individual sounds in a specific order. When a child can manipulate individual sounds, or parts of a word, and a stream of speech, that child is demonstrating phonemic awareness. Learning through listening on Tales2go allows both emerging readers and proficient readers to hear those individual sounds that make up both familiar and new words, read by storytellers and professional narrators, enabling them to have practice with this fundamental reading and pre-reading skill. Unlike computer-generated speech, or even text read by a peer or teacher, the titles on Tales2go are recorded with quality and expressive spoken language. Phonemic awareness is one of the building blocks to literacy that is reinforced every time Tales2go is accessed.