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Using Rhythm to Perform Poetry

In this worksheet, students identify rhythm patterns in poetry by counting stressed and unstressed syllables. Students learn how to read poems out loud.

'Using Rhythm to Perform Poetry' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 2

Year:  Year 4 English worksheets

Curriculum topic:   Reading: Comprehension

Curriculum subtopic:   Recognise Forms of Poetry

Popular topics:   Reading Comprehension worksheets

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

One of the important features of a poem is its rhythm, which is the pattern the sounds make when we read them out loud.


Try reading this nursery rhyme out loud.

Mary had a little lamb,

Its fleece was white as snow.

And everywhere that Mary went,

The lamb was sure to go.


As you read aloud, you will have put more emphasis, or stress, on some words (and syllables) than others. If the poem is rewritten with the stressed syllables in bold capitals, it looks like this:



And EVeryWHERE that MARy WENT,

The LAMB was SURE to GO.


A stressed syllable is followed by an unstressed syllable each time. If you try reading the poem the other way round (so you put emphasis on the words that are not in bold capitals) it sounds very strange!


In this activity, you can practise reading different poems out loud and identifying their patterns of rhythm.

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