“Huh…Huh Catch the Letter H!”

Emergent Literacy Design

Elizabeth Sherman


Rationale: This lesson will teach children to identify /h/, the phoneme represented by H. Students will be taught to recognize /h/ in spoken words by learning a meaningful representation (panting). They will also learn the letter symbol H and practice finding /h/ in words. Students will also learn how to write the capital letter H.


Materials: Enough primary paper and pencils for all the students, image of boy running and panting, chart with the tongue twister: “The hen hid his hat”, drawing paper and crayons, “ Itsy Bitsy-Book-Beginning Sounds-Letter H”(http://www.kidzone.ws/kindergarten/learning-letters/ib-book-h.htm), image of hand weights, image of chair, image of person with hat,belt, and shoes on the primary paper lines, word cards with HAM, HAT, HIP, HID, HUT written on them, and assessment worksheet identifying pictures with /h/ (URL below).




1. Say: There are 26 letters in our alphabet. When you know all 26 letters, you able to understand words and read! Today, we are going to learn about the letter H. We are going to learn how to move our mouth to say /h/ sound. We spell /h/ with the letter H. The /h/ sounds like your panting.


2. Say: Let's pretend to run, /h/, /h/, /h/. Swing your arms back and forth. [Pantomime running and panting] Notice where your tongue is? (Touching the bottom of your mouth). Notice that your mouth is wide open and air is coming out. When we say /h/, air comes out of our mouth.


3. Say: Let me show you how to find /h/ in the word hat. I'm going to stretch hat out slowly. Then I am going to listen for the panting sound of /h/. Huh-a-t. Now I’m going to say it even more slowly. Huuuh-a-t. I heard it! I felt the air come out as my mouth was wide open. Just as if I was panting.


4. Say: Now let's try saying a tongue twister [on chart]. Let me say it for you first. "The Hen hid his hat." Now let’s say it together three times. This time, stretch the /h/ at the beginning of the words. "The Hhhen hhhid hhhhis hhhat." Lets say the tongue twister again. But this time separate the /h/ from the words:  “the /h/ en /h/ id /h/ is /h/ at /.”


[Have students take out primary paper and pencil]. Say: We use letter H to spell /h/. You can spell the /h/ with a capital H or a lowercase /h/. The capital H looks like a hand weight. The lower case h looks like a comfy chair (Have a image of the capital letter H as a hand weight and the lower case h as a chair).  Let me show you how to write the capital H. There are three lines on this paper. Let’s call the top line the hat, the middle the belt, and the bottom line the shoes. ( Have an image of a person on the primary paper with hat, belt and shoes on) First, I am going to start at the “hat” line and draw a straight line all the way down to the “shoe” line. Now, I am going to put my pencil on the “hat” line and do the same thing again. Then I am going to put my pencil on the “belt” of the first line and draw straight across to the other line. There, now they are connected. There is the capital letter H. Now, you all try. I want to see all of your H’s. If I give your H a star, make five more just like it.


5. Say: Do you hear /h/ in hat or cap? horse or goat? fly or hen? ham or meat? pig or hog? If you hear the /h/ sound in these words I want you to swing your arms back and forth like you’re running and panting. Do you hear /h/ in these words: Bob, has, to, hop, home, now. Good job! I saw a lot of running and panting when we heard the /h/ sound.


6. Say: Let's look at this “ Itsy Bitsy-Book-Beginning Sounds-Letter H”. (Have printed out, colored, and put together copy of the book). This book is a great book filled with things that start with /h/. I wonder what is in here (Point to the book) that starts with /h/? Let’s read together to find out! Then read the book to students. Say: Can you think of anything that starts with /h/. I want you to draw me a picture of something that starts with /h/.


7. Show the students the word HAM and model how to decide if it is ham or jam: The H tells me to swing my arms back and forth like I’m running and pant, /h/, so this word is hhham, ham. You try some: HAT: hat or bat? HIP: hip or dip? HID: did or hid? HUT: hut or cut?


8. In order to assess students’ learning, distribute the “What Begins With Letter H” worksheet. Students will have to determine which images start with the /h/ and color those. Once they have decided which images start with the /h/ they will finish the word by writing the letter H where it is missing on the worksheet. For further assessment, you can have students read these words to you aloud.




Holzapfel, Kim. “Hop To It”. http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/persp/holzapfelel.html


Assessment worksheet: http://www.kidzone.ws/kindergarten/h-begins2.htm


Book: “Itsy-Bitsy Book-Beginning Sound- Letter H” from http://www.kidzone.ws/kindergarten/learning-letters/ib-book-h.htm


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