Rhyming blockbusters

This is a game to practise the vowel and diphthong sounds of the English sound system and the various ways in which these sounds are spelt.

Paul Kaye

This is done through asking learners to identify words that rhyme, a challenging exercise for low levels, especially if the words are homophones (same sounds but different spelling). There is also a blank grid so you can adapt the game to your own learning aims.

The activity is based on the 'Blockbusters' game, where learners compete in teams to win squares in a grid. Download the grid below.

Before the class, prepare enough photocopies of worksheet A for each learner to have a copy and if you have an overhead projector, copy the grid onto a transparency. If not, you will need to copy it onto the board.


  • Write the word 'right' up on the board and elicit as many words that rhyme with this as possible. Highlight words that are homophones of 'right'.
  • Put the learners into two groups. Hand out the grids and display on your board if possible.
  • Tell the learners that they need to find words that rhyme with the words on the grid. Give them 5 minutes to prepare this. They will not be able to prepare a word for each on the grid in this time - this is intentional. This will encourage them to 'think on their feet' as the game progresses.
  • Explain the rules:

    • Learner groups take turns to choose a word on the grid - in any position - and tell the class a word that rhymes with this. You decide if their word is acceptable as a rhyme. If they are successful they win the square. Shade it in on the board if you have one.
    • If they are wrong the square remains available.
    • One group must get from one side of the grid to the other, the other group from the top to the bottom, by winning squares and so making lines.
    • Groups can block each other by winning squares also. The middle square (the) is more difficult and introduces the schwa sound. Groups must suggest a word that has the sound, but it can be more than one syllable, e.g. table.
  • It might be useful to write up the words that rhyme with those of the grid to review after the game, especially if there are interesting spellings.
Blank grid36.5 KB
Language Level


Submitted by kanneparker on Tue, 04/22/2008 - 21:35


I liked this activity. It was a challenging yet fun way to do pronunciation practice. I think I'll use a simple bingo grid next time, however, because we all got a little confused about how to win the game!

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