Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.
She sells seashells by the seashore.
The slimy, hissing snake slithered sneakily through the grass.
Do you notice all the s's? They help us to imagine the snake even more. We can almost hear it hissing!
Related to alliteration are two other devices: assonance and consonance. They are both like alliteration in that they involve the repetition of sounds, but instead of coming at the beginnings of words the repeated sounds are contained within words. Assonance is the repetition of vowel sounds, and consonance is the repetition of--you got it!--consonant sounds. Can you find assonance and consonance in the example above? (Assonance: hissing, slithered, sneakily; Consonance: hissing, grass)
Boy, that's a lot of terms. Don't worry if you can't remember them all. Just remember that poetry is meant to be spoken, so poets choose their words not only for what they mean but for how they sound, and one of their most basic tools is repetition.
Try using alliteration, assonance and consonance by writing a tongue twister about yourself or someone you know. It can be pretend or real, serious or silly. Here's one I wrote. What vowel and consonant sounds, both at the beginnings of words and within words, do you see repeated?
Cheryl shared her sherbet with the thirty-three shrill chefs.