Search English Introducing Poetry 11-14 Key Stage 3

Syllable patterns

Point the mouse over each of these sentences and look at the poem above:

Line one has 8 syllables,
Line two has 6,
Line three has 8 syllables
And line four has 6.

This means that the syllable pattern for Lucy Locket is 8, 6, 8, 6.

Rhyming patterns

Poetry doesn't have to rhyme but much of it does. Some forms of poetry have rules about the rhyming pattern.

In Humpty Dumpty, which lines rhyme?

    Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall
    Humpty Dumpty had a great fall
    All the King's horses and all the King's men
    Couldn't put Humpty together again.

It is quite obvious that; line one rhymes with line two and then line three rhymes with line four.

This is known as having a rhyming pattern of AABB.

The following nursery rhyme has a rhyming pattern of ABAB. Point the mouse over the lines. The matching coloured words rhyme.

Humpty Dumpty


A limerick has a rhyming pattern of AABBA. Point the mouse over this verse:


Have a look at a book called, 'Does W trouble you?' by Gerard Benson (Puffin). It contains many styles of rhyming poems.


Two consecutive lines of poetry. They are paired in length or rhyme:

    To be said to pips placed in front of the fire

    If you love me, pop and fly;
    If you hate me, lay and die.

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