top of page
  • Writer's pictureLottie Gaberle

Playing games with word patterns

Updated: Apr 21, 2020

Hiawatha, Lottie Gaberle,
Little Indian boy Hiawatha with his mother Nokomis standing by his wigwam near the lake, Gitche gumee.

Would you like to build a wigwam like Hiawatha's? Do you think his mother helped him build it? (Actually it's a tipi but we'll let him off this time.)

Can you say these funny words? Can you see the pattern in the words?

By the shores of Gitche Gumee,

By the shining Big-Sea-Water,

Stood the wigwam of Nokomis,

Daughter of the Moon, Nokomis.

Dark behind it rose the forest,

Rose the black and gloomy pine-trees,

Rose the firs with cones upon them;

Bright before it beat the water,

Beat the clear and sunny water,

Beat the shining Big-Sea-Water.

Pattern in words is called ‘METER’ and this peom by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow called 'The Song of Hiawatha' is written in what is called 'trochaic tetrameter'. That’s another funny word isn’t it? Tetrameter!

Try saying this pattern of sounds:

Bum-ba bum-ba bum-ba bum-ba

Bum-ba bum-ba bum-ba bum-ba

Your voice goes down on the ‘bum‘ and up on the ‘ba’ so there is a rhythm.

Now try saying the poem again with the same rhythm.

It’s fun to play games with rhythm isn’t it?!

6 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page