Thanksgiving Comes But Once a Year
by Thornton W. Burgess
Thanksgiving comes but once a year,
But when it comes it brings good cheer.
For in my storehouse on this day
Are piles of good things hid away.
Each day I’ve worked from early morn
To gather acorns, nuts, and corn,
Till now I’ve plenty and to spare
Without a worry or a care.
So light of heart the whole day long,
I’ll sing a glad Thanksgiving song.
This poem is good for discussing rhyming couplets!
Circle the last word in the first two lines in one color; circle the last word in the next two lines in a different color; so forth and so on. Ask your child to look at year and cheer and tell you what he notices about the two words. He should tell you that they rhyme. Then, look at day and away and discuss that they rhyme with each other but not with year and cheer. Explain that when a poem contains a rhyming pair of successive lines, two lines one after another that end with words that rhyme, they are called a rhyming couplet.
You can demonstrate rhyming patterns with legos, colored beads, or little pieces of construction paper. For example, in this poem you could use two white legos (year, cheer), two red legos (day, away), two green legos (morn, corn), two blue legos (spare, care), and two yellow legos (long, song).
If your child is older or you want to move past the simple explanation of a pair of successive rhyming lines, you can discuss how couplets usually form a syntactic unit (phrase, clause, or sentence) and share the same meter (pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables in lines of a set length).