Sway and Play


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

Lesson Plan

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Target Words:

  • lei
  • day
  • sway
  • way
  • play
  • stay


  • Containers to use as drums
  • Plastic or paper Hawaiian leis (see below)
  • Music
  • Chalk 

State and model the objective 
Tell the children that today they will play music and sway as they practice saying words that rhyme with play.

Practice the skill within an activity

Sway and Play

  • Show the children a lei and explain that it is a string of flowers worn around the neck on special occasions in Hawaii.
  • Tell the children that today is a lei day, and that they will get to sway, and play music.
  • Point out that lei and play rhyme, and ask the children to listen for words that rhyme with play.
  • Have the children help you make several connecting pathways with chalk.
  • Give the children containers to use as drums and let the children play their drums and sway (move their hips side to side) along the pathways.
  • Tell the children to move away from the pathway, then start the music and let the children sway.
  • Include as words that rhyme with play in your comments about the activity (e.g., "I like the way you play and sway!"
  • Ask the children for words they heard in the activity that rhyme with play: lei, day, sway, way.

Play and Stay

  • Explain to the children that in this game they will listen to know when to play or stay still.
  • Choose one child to be "it" and have the children stay still until the child who is "it" yells, "play!"
  • Tell all other children to yell "play" back to the child who is "it" then have the children run around.
  • Tell the child who is "it" to yell "stay!" and have the other children stop in place.
  • Repeat the game allowing the children to take turns calling out the rhyming words play or stay.

Apply the skill 

Practice rhyming

  • Produce words that rhyme with play
    • Remind the children of the words they played with (day, play, sway, way, lay).
    • Tell them you can think of other words that rhyme with play (hey, pay, tray, gray).  
    • Ask each child to think of a word that rhymes with play.
    • If a child doesn't respond in a few seconds, give him/her an option:  
      • "How about say?  Does say rhyme with play?" (Nod your head yes to let the child know that they rhyme) 
      • "Do play and pay rhyme?" (Nod your head yes)

March and say words that rhyme with play 

  • Have the children march and say the beginning and ending sounds of the word play as follows:
    • segment sounds: say /pl/ (march right), say /ay/ (march left)
    • blend sounds: jump with both feet and say play to blend the sounds into the whole word
    • Repeat with other words that rhyme with play (i.e. hay, day, lay, say, way, may, ray).



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