Rhyming Patterns

Learn about rhyming patterns

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As your child begins to experiment with poetry, they’ll naturally start to explore different rhyming patterns. Rhyming patterns help bring an entire poem to life, making them feel more rhythmical and magical!

This guide includes free expert advice, tips, and free resources about rhyme that your child can use when writing their own poems.

What are rhyming patterns?

Rhyming patterns (also known as rhyming schemes) in poetry involve using rhyming words at the end of poetry lines to follow a pattern of ending sounds throughout the poem.

Rhyming words are words that sound alike at the end, like dog and hog, or love and dove.

Why are rhyming patterns important?

Rhyming patterns are one of the most popular poetry features!

Here’s a list of reasons why this technique is so important:

  • They help bring poetry to life
  • They can be used in songwriting
  • They make a poem more memorable
  • They help the poet convey meaning through rhymes
  • They can show different emotions and perspectives
  • They can help the reader identify the type of poem they’re reading
Rhyming words.

Rhyme Scheme Examples

Before we dive into different rhyme schemes, we should define the term “stanza”. A stanza is a group of lines within a verse of a poem. It can be a two-line stanza (couplet), a three-line stanza(triplet), a four-line stanza (quatrain), or a ten-line stanza - there’s no limit!

It’s also important to note that, in rhyming pattern names, we use letters to denote the words at the end of a line rhyming.

ABAB Rhyming Pattern

The ABAB rhyme scheme is a common rhyme scheme that demonstrates alternate rhymes. This means that the first line rhymes with the third line, while the second line rhymes with the fourth line.

Here’s an example:

I like to run. (A)

My friends like to play. (B)

The beach is very fun. (A)

I hope you have a great day! (B)

AABB Rhyming Pattern

In this case, the first line rhymes with the second line, while the third line rhymes with the fourth line.

Here is an example of an AABB rhyming pattern:

My family loves our cat. (A)

She loves to wear her hat. (A)

Sometimes she gets stuck in trees. (B)

And she’s so afraid of bees! (B)

ABCB Rhyming Pattern

In this pattern of rhymes, only the second line and fourth line rhyme within the stanza.

Here’s an example of an ABCB rhyming pattern:

My best friend’s name is Jack. (A)

He really likes to go in his pool. (B)

His favorite food is pizza. (C)

I think he’s really cool. (B)

Free Verse

A free verse is exactly what its name implies - there is no specific rhyme scheme, number of lines, or stanzas!

This can be a great type of poem to introduce your child to this writing style, as they don’t have to focus on a particular rhyming pattern, or try to come up with the perfect rhyme.

Other Rhyming Patterns

Here’s a list of other common rhyme schemes your child may come across:


This rhyming pattern has one internal rhyme, which means that the second and third lines rhyme. The first line rhymes with the last line.


This rhyming scheme is also known as rhyming couplets, or coupled rhymes. It means that the first line rhymes with the second line, the third line rhymes with the fourth line, and so on.


This is the rhyming pattern of a limerick! The end rhyme matches the first two lines of a poem, while the third line rhymes with the fourth line.


This is known as a monorhyme, which means that the end of each line has the same sound.


This is a more complex type of rhyming pattern that consists of three stanzas with the rhyme scheme ABABBCBC, followed by its envoi/envoy, a four-line stanza with the rhyming scheme BCBC. Ballades are often used in songwriting!

Terza Rima

This interesting rhyming pattern consists of three-line stanzas, where the second line of each stanza determines the rhyme of the next stanza, creating a chain rhyme (ABA BCB CDC)!

Activity & Resource

Now that your child knows everything about rhyming patterns, they can practice using this fantastically fun resource!

Infographic explaining ABAB rhyme scheme

How Night Zookeeper can help

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