Gulp With G

An Emergent Literacy Lesson

Haley Thomas


Rationale: This lesson will help children identify hard /g/, the phoneme represented by F. Students will learn to recognize /g/ in spoken words by learning a meaningful representation (gulping water) and the letter symbol G, practice finding /f/ in words, and apply phoneme awareness with /g/ in phonetic cue reading by distinguishing rhyming words from beginning words.


Materials: primary paper and pencil; chart with Gary was glad to play games with grandmother's green garden; word cards with GLUE, GOOD, HOOD, DOING, GOING; assessment worksheet identifying pictures with /g/(URL below).



1.      Say: English is made up of different letters that make all different kinds of sounds. The symbol G makes two different sounds. There is the hard /g/ sound, as heard in guh and the soft /g/ sound that sounds like juh. You can tell the difference by the way your mouth moves. We spell hard /g/ with G. G looks like a big drop of water, and we gulp down water.

2.    Let's pretend we are gulping water, /g/, /g/, /g/. [Pretend to gulp water.] Notice where your tongue is. (Back of it is pressed to the top of your mouth and the front is pressed to the bottom, kind of closing your throat off.)

3.    Let me show you how to find /g/ in the word long. I'm going to say long very, very slowly and stretch out all the different sounds. Lllll-ooooo-nnnn-gggg. I can feel my tongue pressing the roof of my mouth back there in the back. You say it. Can you feel it? Where?

4.    Let's say a tongue twister. [Refer to chart]. "Gary was glad to play games with grandmother's green garden." Everybody say it three times together. Now say it again but this time very slowly and stretch out the /g/ at the beginning of each word. "/G/ary was /g/lad to play /g/ames in his /g/randmother's /g/reen /g/arden."

5.     [Have students take out primary paper and pencil]. We use G to spell /g/. Capital G looks like a drop of water. Let's write lowercase g. This also looks like a droplet! Start just below the middle dotted line, make a little c, come all the way back up to the dotted line, and then drop all the way down into the ditch and make a tail. I want to see everybody's g. After I check it off, I want you to make 9 more just like it.

6.    Call on students to answer and tell how they knew: Do you hear /g/ in gum or dumb? Do you hear /g/ in hood or good? Great or state? Let's see if you can spot the /g/ mouth move in some words. Gargle if you hear /g/: the, goat, gave, me, peanuts, flowers, and, chocolate.

7.     Say: "Let's look at an alphabet book! Lois Ehlert tells us about all kinds of different foods that start with each letter. Look on page 9 at and draw out /g/. Ask children if they can think of other foods that start with /g/. Then have the students write the food on their primary paper and draw a picture of it. Share the work within the group.

8.    Show GONE and model how to decide if it is gone or done. G tells me to gargle, /g/, so this word is ggg-gone, gone. Now you try some: GO: go or no? GLOW: glow or flow? GLEE: glee or bee? GAIN: gain or pain?

9.    Assessment: Distribute the worksheet. Students are to say the name of each word out loud and listen for the hard /g/ sound, color the pictures, and then trace the upper and lowercase G's at the bottom of the page.


Timberly Farley, Pretty Pig Penelope's Picnic.

Assessment worksheet:



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