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  • Teachers Collaborative @ TeachTasticIEP

Crack the Case with The Rhyme Detective: A Fun Game to Boost Phonemic Awareness!

Updated: Mar 17


Welcome to Rhyme Detective, a fun and engaging game that helps students develop their phonemic awareness skills by identifying non-rhyming words from a group of words. By playing this game, students will become more confident in their ability to identify and differentiate between rhyming and non-rhyming words, which is a crucial skill in reading and writing.

Academic Benefits

Playing Rhyme Detective can have several academic benefits for students, including:

  1. Developing Phonemic Awareness: Phonemic awareness is the ability to hear and manipulate the sounds in words. By identifying non-rhyming words, students become more aware of the different sounds in words and how they can be combined to create rhyming pairs.

  2. Improving Vocabulary: Through playing the game, students are exposed to various new words and learn to recognize their similarities and differences.

  3. Enhancing Reading and Writing Skills: Recognizing rhyming and non-rhyming words is essential for early reading and writing development. By playing this game, students can strengthen their ability to recognize patterns and apply this knowledge to reading and writing activities.

Overall, Rhyme Detective is an excellent way to make phonemic awareness practice more fun and engaging for students. It promotes critical thinking, teamwork, and problem-solving skills, all of which are essential for academic success.


  • Identify non-rhyming words from a group of words


  • Word cards with rhyming and non-rhyming pairs (e.g., cat-hat, dog-bike, mouse-house, sun-fun, bear-pear, tree-bee)

  • Timer

  • Whiteboard and markers (optional)


  1. Divide the class into small groups and give each group a set of word cards.

  2. Explain that the objective of the game is to identify the non-rhyming word in each pair as quickly as possible.

  3. Start the timer and have the first group flip over their cards.

  4. The group must work together to identify the non-rhyming word in the pair and raise their hand when they have an answer.

  5. Once a group has raised their hand, they must state which word is non-rhyming and explain why.

  6. If the answer is correct, the group earns a point, and the game continues with the next group.

  7. If the answer is incorrect, the game continues, and the group does not earn a point.

  8. Continue playing until all groups have had a chance to play or until a predetermined time limit is reached.

  9. The group with the most points at the end of the game is declared the winner.


  • To make the game more challenging, set a time limit for each group to come up with an answer.

  • Instead of using word cards, the teacher can call out pairs of words and have students identify the non-rhyming word.

  • For a more active game, students can stand up and move to a designated area of the room to indicate their answers.

  • For younger students, the game can be modified to focus on identifying rhyming words instead of non-rhyming words.

Rhyme Detective is a great game to help students develop their phonemic awareness skills while having fun. If you are interested in using this game in your classroom, check out the full lesson plan and other teaching resources in the Phonemic Awareness category. Click here to access these valuable resources and start enhancing your students' critical thinking and teamwork skills today!

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