small ball

Small Ball
Target text


Recognize words that rhyme with small (e.g., "Do ball and all rhyme?") and produce rhyme words (e.g., "Think of a word that rhymes with ball.").

See Standards

Lesson Plan

Target Words:

  • ball
  • call
  • small
  • wall
  • hall
  • fall


  • Small soft balls (e.g., nerf balls)
  • Cotton balls or paper balls
  • A small and a big ball

State and Model the Objective
Tell the children that they will play a game with a small ball as they recognize and produce words that rhyme with ball, such as all, tall, call, small, and wall.

Literacy Activities
Call for a ball

  • Say, "We can call for a ball!" and point out that call and ball rhyme.
  • Show the children two balls, a big ball and a small ball.
  • Let the children stand by a wall and call for a ball by saying, "I call for the small ball" or "I call for the big ball"
  • Toss the children a ball according to which size of ball they called for.
  • Ask the children, "Which word rhymes with ball, big or small?"
  • Allow the children toss balls at the wall and have them identify if each ball is small or not small.

Playing with balls and walls

  • If a space is available that has two walls fairly close together, let the children try to bounce the ball from wall to wall (or just off of one wall).
  • Tell the children to call out, "Ball!" to alert the other children that they will be bouncing a ball, and then let them take turns throwing a small ball against a wall.
  • Have the children call out "I call ball!" to alert the other children that they will try to catch the ball after it bounces against the wall.
  • Let the children place balls side by side so they line up wall to wall and comment, "We have wall-to-wall balls!"
  • Allow the children to roll a ball down the hall, trying not to let the ball knock into a wall.
  • Comment on the rhyming words (e.g., Wall and hall rhyme) and ask the children to recognize rhyming words (e.g., Do ball and call rhyme?).

Get the ball over the wall

  • Let the children stand side-by-side to make two walls and have them stand facing each other.
  • Place cotton balls or paper balls on the top of each "wall" (on the children's heads) and tell the children not to let the balls fall (to hold still).
  • Tell each child to stand tall and then get small (by stooping down or kneeling down).
  • Let the children fall.
  • Allow the children to try to get a ball (paper balls, cotton balls, or toy balls) over one "wall."
  • Throughout the activity, comment on the rhyming words (e.g., "Wall and fall rhyme.") and ask the children to recognize rhyming words (e.g., "Do tall and small rhyme?").

Produce words that rhyme with ball

  • Remind the children of the words they played with (all, tall, call, wall, fall, hall, small).
  • Sit in a circle and roll a ball to a child and ask him or her to say a word that rhymes with ball (support as needed), then roll it to another child.
  • Give all of the children an opportunity to share a word and roll the ball.

Recognize words that do and do not rhyme 

  • Say pairs of words and ask the children to listen for pairs that rhyme (e.g., call, ball; hall, house; ball, cat; fall, tall; all, toy; call, wall; fall, stop; tall, all)
  • Have the children show you a thumbs up if the words rhyme and a thumbs down if the words do not rhyme, supporting as needed.
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SEEL lessons align with Common Core Standards. Please see the standards page for the code(s) associated with this lesson.