I wrote this 193-word poem for my summer ESL class on phonics and accent reduction. It includes about a large number of minimal pair vocabulary words highlighting continuants and stops (esp. /s/ and /t/ endings), as well as various vowel sounds. It corresponds with Unit 10 of Judy Gilbert’s Clear Speech, 4th Edition. Enjoy, and feel free to share and reuse with attribution.
Kate Cat Caught a Moose
Kate the cat caught a moose;
She meant to catch a mouse.
She had it pinned with the pad of her paw
At night in the nice mouse house.
She never thought she might meet a moose instead
When she pawed in the hole meant for mice.
Most cats are meant to stalk rodents and rats,
Not to pat on the nose of a moose eating rice!
(Yes, the big moose ate rice;
You heard me right.
Rice is a nice thing
For mooses to bite!
It was bought from a bat
Bit by billions of lice;
Rice and lice look the same
When you turn out the lights!)
On the day of the race, Kate cat paid for two tickets:
She would go there by boat but come back by bus.
But really, she ought to have bought a bus pass
And pawned the boat ticket; boats just aren’t worth the fuss!
Besides, the base bus rates are nothing to balk at,
And the pace of a bus is a pretty good rate.
Talk to Martin the moose; he’ll tell you, “Take buses
If to talk face-to-face with a moose is your fate!”