Tall Ball Race


Recognize words that rhyme with ball (e.g., do tall and ball rhyme?) and produce rhyme words (e.g., think of a word that rhymes with ball).

Lesson Plan

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Target Words:

  • ball
  • wall
  • crawl
  •  tall
  • small


  • Balls or paper crumpled into balls 
  • A large area for children to run in-(with a wall they can touch).

State and model the objective
Tell the children that they will have a relay race using a ball and practice saying words that rhyme with ball.

Practice the skill within an activity

Relay race with a ball

  • Divide the children into teams and give each team one ball.
  • Have one child from each team race to the designated wall and back doing actions as follows:
    • Round 1: Children will hold the ball and crawl.
    • Round 2: Children will hold the ball up to be as tall as they can be while running.
    • Round 3: Children will run like they are very small (squatting down and running very low to the ground) while holding the ball.
  • Repeat the sequence of running to the wall as many times as needed to let every child have a turn.
  • While one child from each team races, have the other children who are waiting chant the following phrase:
    • Round 1: "Crawl, crawl, crawl with the ball!"
    • Round 2: "Tall, tall, tall with the ball!"
    • Round 3: "Small, small, small with the ball!"
  • When the children are done ask them to tell you what words they heard that rhyme with ball: wall, crawl, tall, wall.

Apply the skill

Practice rhyming

  • Produce words that rhyme with ball
    • Remind the children of the words they played with (ball, wall, crawl, tall).
    • Tell them you can think of other words that rhyme with ball (fall, call, hall).  
    • Sit in a circle and roll the ball to each other
    • When a child receives the ball have them say a word that rhymes with ball
    • If a child doesn't respond in a few seconds, give him/her an option:  
      • "How about call?  Does call rhyme with ball?" (Nod your head yes to let the child know that they rhyme) 
      • "Do mall and ball rhyme?" (Nod your head yes)
    • After the child has shared a rhyming word, have the child pass the ball to another child, giving all the children an opportunity to share.
  • Recognize rhyming words 
    • Have the children repeat a set of 2 words (e.g. ball, tall).
    • Ask the children to show you thumbs up if the words rhyme and thumbs down if the words do not rhyme.
    • Repeat with other sets of words: (e.g., call, stall; fall, mall; hall, cat; all, doll; brawl, crawl; wall, truck).
    • If children do not respond correctly, repeat the 2 words, emphasizing the ending sounds of the words.


SEEL At Home

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


  • 2 balls
  • A large area to run in

Activity: Tall Ball Race

  • While your child and yourself are holding a ball, race back and forth to a designated wall three times.
    • 1st time: Crawl with your ball.
    • 2nd time: Hold the ball high above your head and run “tall” with your ball.
    • 3rd time: Run small with the ball (squat down and run very low to the ground). 
  • While racing, repeat phrases like, “Crawl, crawl, crawl with the ball!” “Small, small, small with the ball!” and “Tall, tall, tall with the ball!”
  • Ask your child to tell you the words they heard in the activity that rhyme with ball.
  • Sit on the ground across from each other and roll a ball back and forth to each other, saying a word that rhymes with ball each time you pass it. 
  • The activity can be repeated several times.


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CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.K.2.A: Recognize and produce rhyming words.