Race the car With V


Catherine Bonner


Emergent Literacy Design


Rationale: This lesson will help children identify /v/, the phoneme represented by v.

 Students will learn to recognize /v/ in spoken words by learning a meaningful

representation ( racing cars) and the letter symbol V, practice finding /v/ in words,

and apply phoneme awareness with /v/ in phonetic cue reading by distinguishing

rhyming words from beginning letters.


Materials: Wide ruled paper and pencil; chart with "Victoria vacations with very venomous vipers ";

Construction  paper and crayons; Vera Viper’s Valentine (Scholastic, 2000); word cards

With VAN, VENT, VAIN, VEIL; assessment worksheet identifying

pictures with /V/.



 1. Say: The way we write our words can be tricky. It sometimes feels like we have to be a secret agent and break a code. Each letter in our written language stands for something, and cracking the code means we figure out what each letter stands for. Our mouth has to move differently and make different sounds for each of the letters in our secret code. Today we are going to be learning about how our mouth moves to make the letter /v/. We spell /v/ with letter V. The letter V looks like an upside down mountain and sounds like a racecar revving its engine. Our racecar will need to go really fast to go up and down the sides of our mountain, so its engine will need to be cranked up.


2. Let's pretend to race our car , /v/, /v/, /v/. [Make the engine revving noise] Notice

where your top teeth are? (Touching lower lip). When we say /v/, we blow air

between out top teeth and lower lip. Feel the vibrating “v” on your bottom lip.


3. Let me show you how to find /v/ in the word elevator. I'm going to stretch elevator out in

super slow motion and listen for my racecar. E-l-e-v-a-t-o-r. Slower: E-l-e-vvv-a-t-o-r. I heard it, and I felt my teeth touch my lip and blow air. I can feel the racecar /v/ in elevator.

4. Let's try a tongue twister [on chart]. "Victoria vacations with very venomous vipers." Everybody

say it three times together. Now say it again, and this time, stretch the /v/ at the

beginning of the words. " Vvvictoria vvvacations with vvvery vvvenomous vvvipers." Try it again, and

this time break it off the word: "/V/ictoria /v/acations  with  /v/ ery /v/ enemous /v/ ipers.


5. [Have students take out wide-ruled paper and pencil]. We use letter V to spell /v/. Capital V looks like an upside down mountain and our lowercase V just looks like a smaller upside down mountain. Let's write the lowercase letter v. Start about halfway between the rooftop and the ground. I want you to draw your upside down mountain, so the tip of the mountain touches the ground. You will drive your car down the side of the mountain to the tip, or point, and then, speed up your engine and climb up the other side. Now I want you to make nine more just like it.


6. Call on students to answer and tell how they knew: Do you hear /v/ in voice or

talk? Vote or sign?  Very or little? Vest or shirt? Vain or shy? Say: Let's see if you can spot

the mouth move /v/ in some words. Turn your steering wheel if you hear /v/: The, vacuum,

car, voice, Valentine, dog, vent, the, blue, sad.


7. Say: "Let's look at an alphabet book. In this story Victor makes something special for his friend Vera. Can you guess what that something is?  That’s right, it’s a valentine!” Read Vera Viper’s Valentine, emphasizing /V/.  Ask children to write a valentine to the letter V, explaining why it is such a wonderful letter. Children should decorate these valentines. Display their work.


8. Show VAN and model how to decide if it is van or fan: The V tells me to race my car,

 /v/, so this word is vvv-an, van. Vent: vent or rent? Rain, vain or rain? Nail, veil or nail?


9. For assessment, distribute the worksheet. Students are to complete the partial

spellings and color the pictures that begin with V. Call students individually to read

the phonetic cue words from step #8.




Vera Viper's Valentine. Higgins, Maxwell. Scholastic Inc., 2001.


Traci Leech: "MMMM MMMM Yummy Cake"



For the worksheet:



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