One of the hardest things to teach young ELLs is rhyming words. Imagine when you are learning a new language to be asked to think of words that rhymes with a particular sound, you will have to have a pretty strong command of the target language in order to acquire such a high level of understanding and production. Please do not misunderstand me, ELLs CAN learn and produce rhyming words, it just takes them more time, more practice, more repetition. Well, I found a great book at our wonderful Columbus Metropolitan Library to reinforce the teaching of rhyming words (did I ever mention how much I HEART this library, I would be lost without it!)
Billy & Milly, Short & Silly by Eve B. Feldman and pictures by Tuesday Mourning is a great book to teaching rhyming words in content. This is reason number one this book is a winner to me, the rhyming words used in this book share Billy & Milly very short stories. This is the kind of book where you are relying a lot in the pictures in order to understand the story. For example: you see Billy & Milly sitting on the stoops of an apartment building. Billy is holding his basketball and Milly is just waiting crossed arms for the ice cream truck to get closer. Billy gets his basketball and starts playing hoops while Milly is enjoying her scoops of delicious ice cream. All of a sudden, oh no! Billy's basketball hits Milly's ice cream and oops! the ice cream is gone!
Now, go back and read the bold words I have just used to tell the story : stoops, hoops, scoops, oops. Those are the only words you will find in those three pages that tell that particular story. What a wonderful invitation for our students to do what I just did: tell a story using those rhyming words using the pictures as clues for meaning and understanding. A wonderful new addition to my treasure of books!