It’s So C-c-c-cold!

Emergent Literacy

By: Anna Day



Rationale: This lesson will help children automatically recognize both the letter C and the phoneme /k/. Obtaining the ability to recognize phonemes quickly and easily helps children become more efficient readers. The students will learn to identify /k/ and the letter C through a variety of exercises. They will learn to recognize /k/ in spoken words by learning a meaningful representation (shivering, “It’s so c-c-c-cold!”, chattering teeth) and the letter C, practice finding /k/ in words, and apply phoneme awareness with /k/ in phonetic cue reading by distinguishing rhyming words from beginning letters.


Materials: Primary paper and pencil, picture with embedded letter (shivering and cookie), tongue tickler “The Cute Caterpillar Cannot Climb up the Cake” written on chart paper, mirror, markers/crayons, drawing paper, cards with the words CAB, CAPE, CAVE, FAT, and BAKE on them, the book Clara Caterpillar by Pamela D. Edwards, assessment worksheet identifying pictures with /k/ found from




1. Say: Our language can be hard to understand sometimes, especially since the letters in the alphabet make so many different sounds. Today we are going to learn about the sound /k/.  This is the sound you make when you get really cold and you start shivering and your teeth chatter (show example of motion). The sound /k/ is made by the letter C.


2. Say: Let’s pretend we are at the North Pole and it’s freezing outside. Since it’s so cold, you start shivering and your teeth start chattering. As your teeth chatter, you make the /k/ sound. When you say the /k/ sound, what does your mouth do? (let the students look in a mirror) Do you see how your mouth is open and air is coming out as you say /k/? Stick your hand up to your mouth and see if you can feel the air.


3. Say: We’re going to use this tongue tickler to practice /k/. (Show the tongue tickler chart to the students.) I want you to listen to me first, “The cute caterpillar cannot climb up the cake”.  Do you think you can repeat the tongue tickler after I say it? (repeat with students two times) Do you hear the /k/ sound? We are going to say the tongue tickler again, but this time we are going to stretch out the /k/ sound. “The ccccute ccccaterpillar ccccannot cccclimb up the ccccake.”


4. (Make sure each student has a pencil and paper) Say: We use the letter C to make the /k/ sound. The letter C looks like a cookie that you have just taken a giant bite out of (show picture of cookie with a bite out of it). The upper case and lower case C look just alike, but the lower case c is smaller. Now on your piece of paper, I want you to write an upper case and lower case c (look at the students’ papers to make sure they understand). Now, lets trying writing it 9 more times to make sure we get plenty of practice.


5. Say: Now we’re going to see if you can here /k/ in some words. Do I hear /k/ in cat or pig? Cccat, I hear /k/ in cat! Now I want you to raise your hand if you know which word has the /k/ sound. Do you hear /k/ in cage or ball? Fire or candle? Card or heart? Let’s see if you can spot the /k/ sound in some of these words. This time if you hear /k/ in a word, I want you to pretend like you are cold and shivering. Words: cup, goose, camper, cap, blue, camel


6. Say: We talked earlier about how the letter C looks like a cookie with a giant bite out of it. (show the word CAVE and model) Is this word CAVE or BRAVE? The C makes the /k/ sound, ccccave, so this word is cave. Now you’re going to try some. CAB: Is this word cab or dab? FAT: Is this word cat or fat? CAPE: Is this word tape or cape? BAKE: Is this word bake or cake?


7. Say: Let’s look at a fun book where you will hear a bunch of words with the /k/ sound. I am going to read the book and I want you to listen closely. Start shivering is you hear a word with the /k/ sound in it (read the story, Clara Caterpillar, to the students). Booktalk: Clara Caterpillar is about a carefree cabbage caterpillar named Clara, who becomes a common cream colored butterfly. She can't possibly compete with a snobby caterpillar named Catisha, who becomes a captivating crimson colored butterfly. Or can she? Let’s read to find out. After reading the book: Now I want you to draw your own caterpillar. What color is it? Why is it that color (does it help it camouflage)? Can you give your caterpillar a name that starts with the letter C and makes the /k/ sound? (Let the students share their caterpillar pictures with the rest of the class)


Assessment: Distribute the worksheet to everyone. Go over the names of each object found on the worksheet. Then have the students color each object that begins with the /k/ sound. Also have them write the letter C beside each object that they color. Use the worksheet from:




Julianne Robinson, Click, Click, Take a Pic!


Taylor Freeman, Click Your Camera with /k/


Geri Murray, Designing An Emergent Literacy Lesson




Clara Caterpillar by Pamela Duncan Edwards

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