Gary, the Gold Gorilla

Emergent Literacy Design

Natalie Brock


Rationale: This is an emergent literacy design with the focus on letter recognition, specifically the litter g which make the /g/ sound.


Materials: For this lesson, I will need a piece of paper with a big g, picture of a gold gorilla, lined pieces of paper labeled (with the sidewalk, ditch, fence and rooftop), coloring worksheet (with pictures of gorilla, grasshopper, horse and apple), crayons (gold, green, gray, pink and blue) and various pictures of items and colors that start with the letter g as well as some pictures that do not:












1. Say: There are 26 letters in the alphabet, and they are all special because they make their own sounds.  Today we are going to be talking about 1 of those letters and hear some words that have that letter in them!


2. I will begin my lesson by introducing the letter on a laminated piece of paper. I will ask if any student can tell me what letter this is. (It"s a g!). I will then begin to talk about the sound the letter g makes. To make the sound a g makes, your mouth is open, tongue humped at back of mouth. Voice Box is on. It sounds like you are gulping a big glass of water on a hot day /g/, /g/, /g/. I will do this by introducing our new friend Gary, the Gold Gorilla.


3. (I will model during instruction on whiteboard) Now that we know what it sounds like, lets practice writing the letter g.  To write an uppercase G you want to start just below the rooftop, then you want to reach backwards up and touch the sky then curve back around to the sidewalk and once you have done this keep curving up to the fence and make a straight line on the fence.  Lets look at making a lowercase g. I want you to make a circle in between the fence and the sidewalk and then give your circle a tail in the ditch.


4.  Now we are going to do a silly tongue tickler.  I am going to say it one time and I want you to listen closely for the /g/ sound. Gary, the gold gorilla is going to the gala. Now lets say it together and when you here the  /g/ I want you to act like you are beating on your chest like Gary the gold gorilla would do (model).


5. Can you think of any other words that have the /g/ sound in them?(Yes! Great does start with the letter G!)


6. Now I am going to read you some words.  I want you to act like Gary the gold gorilla if you hear the /g/ sound.  Give, golf, play, gallop, horse, guess  


7.  Lets look at some pictures.  Tell me if you think the word starts with the letter G. (I will then show the pictures of various items and colors that start with the letter g.)


8.  Gggggreat job learning the letter G today everyone! 


Assessment: For my assessment, I will give the students a coloring sheet with pictures of a gorilla, grasshopper, horse and an apple.  Students will also receive 6 crayons (green, gold, gray, pink and blue).  The students will be asked to color only the pictures that start with the letter g with colors that start with the letter g (gold, green, grey).



          Powell, Megan. Butterflies and Dragonflies.


Chall, J. S. (1983). The stages of reading development. New York: McGraw Hill


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