Drum Roll, Please!


Emergent Literacy

Emily Lusher


Rationale: This lesson will help children identify /d/, the phoneme represented by D. Students will learn to recognize /d/ in speech by learning a meaningful representation of the letter symbol D, finding /d/ in words, and applying phoneme awareness with /d/ in phonetic cue reading.  Through the use of learning tools and practice, students will become more confident in their usage of the letter symbol and phoneme of /d/.


Materials: Primary paper and pencil; picture of a drum with embedded letter; tongue tickler: "David Digs for Dinosaurs in the Dirt"; drawing paper and crayons; Dinorella: A Prehistoric Fairytale (Hyperion, 1997); word cards with DOT, PEEP, DIP, DENT, PARK, and DATE; assessment worksheet identifying pictures with /d/ (URL link below).


Procedures: 1.Today, we are going to investigate the letter D.  We will discover how to move our mouths to make the /d/ sound.  We will use pictures of drums to help us remember the sound and symbols for /d/.  A drum makes the /d/ sound, /d-d-d/.  When you make this sound, your tongue should be tapping the roof of your mouth, just like you are tapping a drum. 


2. Let's play our drum!  Pat your hands on your lap and pretend it's a drum, /d/, /d/, /d/.  [Pantomime drumming your lap.]  Do you notice how your mouth is moving?  Your lips should be slightly opened and your tongue should drum the roof of your mouth.


3. Let me show you how to find /d/ in the word "wide".  I'm going to say the word "wide" very slowly and I want you to find the /d/ of the drum.  Www-i-i-i-ddd.  Slower: www-i-i-i-ddd.  I heard it!  I could feel my tongue drumming the roof of my mouth!


4. We should do a tongue tickler [on chart].  "David Digs for Dinosaurs in the Dirt."  Everybody say it three times together and tap your lap like a drum every time you hear /d/.  Now say it again, and this time, stretch the /d/ at the beginning of the words as I point to them. " Dddavid dddigs for dddinosaurs in the dddirt." Do it again, but this time break it off the word: "/D/avid /d/igs for /d/inosaurs in the /d/irt."


5. [Have students take out primary paper and pencil]. We use letter D to spell /d/. Capital D looks like a big marching drum but lowercase d looks like the bass drum in a drum kit.  Let's write the lowercase letter d. Start at the roof and go down to the sidewalk.  Then, start a circle that touches the left side of your line that goes down from the fence to the sidewalk.  After I put a smile on your paper, I want you to make five more just like it.


6. Call on students to answer and tell how they knew: Do you hear /d/ in do or it? Door or floor?  Sleep or dance? Cat or dog? Duck or goose?  Say: Let's see if you can spot the mouth move /d/ in some new words.  Play your drum if you hear /d /: fish, donkey, bug, deer, bird, camel, panda , fox.


7. Let's take a look at our dinosaur book.  Dinorella is down in the dumps.  Her two dreadful sisters will not let her go to the Dinosaur Dance.  Even though her Fairydactyl drops in to save the day, the dance is definitely not the dreamy date she thought it would be.  Tell the students to play their drums on certain pages when they hear /d/.  Then have each child draw themselves as a dinosaur at the Dinosaur Dance.  Have them use invented spelling to name what kind of dinosaur they are in the picture.  Display the artwork when everyone has finished.


8. Show DOT and model how to decide if it is dot or not: The D tells me to play my drum and tap the roof of my mouth, /d/, so this word is ddd-ot, dot.  You try some: PEEP: peep or deep? DIP: tip or dip? DENT: bent or dent? PARK: park or dark? DATE: late or date?


9. For assessment, pass out the worksheet.  Students will draw a line from the dogs to the pictures that start with /d/.  They will then color the /d/ pictures and the dogs.  The students will be called individually to read the phonetic cue words from step #8.



Adams, M. J. (1990). Beginning to read: Thinking and learning about print. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press

"Pretty Pig Penelope's Picnic." Farley, Timberly. Doorways Fall 2011. http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/doorways/farleyel.htm

Assessment Worksheet:  http://www.kidzone.ws/kindergarten/d-begins1.htm

Book: http://www.amazon.com/Dinorella-Prehistoric-Pamela-Duncan-Edwards/dp/0786811730

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