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WALT recognise and use alliteration in poetry.


What is Alliteration?

Alliteration is a poetic device that uses the same letter sound at the start of adjacent or closely connected words in a sentence.

An example of alliteration is: "The bird sang sweetly."

Alliteration is a type of repetition.

Characteristically, alliteration is the use of a series of words beginning with the same consonant or syllabic sound. While alliteration doesn't usually give much added depth to writing, it can add humour and expression.

Alliteration can also be called head rhyme or initial rhyme.


Why use Alliteration?

Alliteration might not add to the depth of meaning of your writing, but it will make it sound better. Alliteration can make your words more engaging – and entertaining. And, when your writing engages your audience they are more likely to pay attention and remember what you say.


How to use Alliteration

Alliteration can be used anywhere and with great success, however, in writing, it is often found in sayings and humorous poetry. It is important to be creative when using alliteration, in order to have that great effect on your listeners.


Examples of Alliteration

There are various instances and examples where Alliteration is used in order to get the listener's attention and keep them interested.

There are also different ways alliteration can be used, for example, with just a letter. Have a look at these examples.

Make a mountain out of a Molehill.


However, alliteration can also be achieved with the first syllable.


Busy buzzing, the bebehaved beautifully.


How to identify Alliteration

The best way to spot alliteration being used is to read out the sentence, make sure to listen for the words with the identical consonant sounds. This will become more noticeable if read out loud.


Alliteration can be used to make funny tongue twisters.

Tongue twisters are a type of short poem with sentences that are tricky to say.


Here's an example:

Jovial jumping Joe juggles jam and juniper berries.


Another example you might know is:

She sells sea-shells on the sea-shore.
The shells she sells are sea-shells, I’m sure.
For if she sells sea-shells on the sea-shore
Then I’m sure she sells sea-shore shells.


Activity one:

Look at the poem Picking Poppies by Violet MacDonald. Can you spot her use of alliteration in this poem? You can print out the poem and highlight/underline the alliteration of practise your handwriting whilst copying the poem and then underline the alliteration.


Activity two:


You are going to write your own tongue twister using alliteration.

First, choose a letter. This should be a consonant (any letter except a, e, i, o, u).

Now write down as many words as you can that start with that letter. The more similar sounding the better.

For example: B = Barry, berry, banana, butter, bitter, brave, broom, battery, buttery, beagle, bagel…



Write your own tongue twister using the words from your list.

Remember: You can still use some words that don’t start with the same letter so that your sentences make sense.

Make your tongue twister four lines long.

For example:

Barry bought a berry bagel
Before buttering his brilliant banana bread.
But Betty brought a better berry bagel
So Barry bit Betty’s bagel instead.

Top tip!

You can use the same words more than once.


Challenge yourself

How quickly can you say your poem without making a mistake?

Can any of your friends or family say it faster? Have a competition!