Patterns of Rhythm/Stress /Intonation

Lesson Plan of Patterns of Rhythm, Stress and Intonation through Listening to Poems

English Grade V

Students’ Learning Outcomes

·         Reproduce in speech, appropriate patterns of rhythm, stress and intonation through listening to stories and poems read aloud in class.

Information for Teachers

·         Rhythm has parallel with stress.
·         Intonation has parallel with pitch
·        Patterns of Rhythm:
o   The word rhythm is imitative from rhythmus (Greek) which value, “measured cue”. Rhythm is a literary scheme which exhibits the long and short patterns through stressed and unstressed syllables on the whole in poetry form.
o   Rhyme is a repetition of similar words and is most often used in poetry and songs.
·        Intonation patterns:
o   The description of an intonation pattern is the manner a person’s voice raises and lowers dependent on what they are speaking about. An example of an intonation pattern is raising your voice at the close of a question.
o   It is the variation in the pitch of the speaker’s voice used to convey information or alter meaning.
·         There are three basic pitches in English – normal, high, and low.
·         The normal pitch is wherever the voice usually is.
·         High is wherever the voice rises to stipulate information focus.
·         Low is where the voice falls, usually at the end of sentences.
·         Stress:  some syllables are in some sense stronger than other syllables and have the potential to be called stressed.
·         When we put when we put emphasis on a word or sentence it becomes a stressed word or stressed sentence.
·         Importance of stress is that the position of stress can change the meaning of the word.
·         Imperative Statement: I can’t do my work!
·         Informative Statement: I can’t do my work.

Material / Resources

Chalk/marker, chart paper with the poem, colored markers/pencils, textbook, board

Worm up activity

·         Students take turns and read aloud some sentences of their own.
·         Ensure that they lay stress on the content words and read with some intonation pattern.


Activity 1

·         Write the poem on the board:
         Let dogs delight to bark and bite
               For God has made them so
        Let bears and lions growl and fight
              For it’s their nature too.
      But, children you should never let
          Such angry passions rise
   Your little hands were never made
       To tear each other’s eyes
·         Write the poem on chart paper. Underline the D in dogs and the d in delight using a colored marker. Underline-bite in another color.
·         Before reading the poem again, ask children to name the words that rhyme
(Fight,   bite, rise,   eyes)
·         Then ask them to identify ways these two pairs of words are alike and different
    (Same-ending, different-beginnings)
·         Students share the content words with you.
·         Underline all the content words on the chart (nouns, adjectives, main verbs, adverbs)
·         Model reading where teacher recites and children listen.
·         When children read the poem ask them to stop on a full stop (.)  And take a breath.
·         When comma comes let them take a short breath.
·         This exercise provides children with effective training of pauses required to be taken in the spoken text which is good for producing effective speech patterns)

Activity 2

·         Students read in pairs the poem written on the board and practice the rhythm, stress and punctuation patterns for five minutes.

Activity 3

·         Arrange a class competition and ask children to read the poem in pairs.
·         The best pair must be awarded with a star cut out.
·         Teacher is also required to involve the student in solving the problems given in the exercise at end of unit/ chapter.

Sum up / Conclusion

·         Ask students to repeat how they know which words to stress when reading a poem.


·         Assess students through their responses in the class in during the lessons by checking their pronunciation.

Follow up

·         Practice reading the poem.
·         Try reading another poem from the book.
·         Partner with the Urdu teacher and ask him / her to practice poetry reciting with the students in Urdu, using the same rules.


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