Growl With Gorillas


Emergent Literacy

Lauren Walker


Rationale: This lesson will help students identify /g/, the phoneme represented by G. Students will learn to recognize the grapheme G in its lowercase and uppercase form, while learning the sound it makes. Students will use a meaningful hand gesture and representation to help connect /g/ to G. We will practice finding /g/ in words and distinguish rhyming words from beginning letters.


·         Primary paper (1 piece per student)

·         Pencils (1 per student)

·         Poster with "The goofy green gorillas' growl goes grrrr"

·         Green gorilla poster

·         Cards with the words: girl, grapes, book, goat, queen ,gold

·         Assessment worksheet (1 per student)

·         Gorilla Be Good mini book (1 per student)


1. "Can you tell me what sound a gorilla makes when he growls? Grrrr. Good! This is the same sound the letter G makes when we read it."

2. I will introduce the hand gesture we are going to use to imitate the sound /g/. "Let's pretend to growl like a gorilla. Hold your hands up and show me your claws! Now growl!! Grrrrrrrrr!!!!"

3. Model: "Do you notice how your tongue feels when you say /g/? The back of your tongue hits the top of your mouth. Now say the word "dad." Do you feel your tongue when you say dad? The tip of your tongue touches the roof of your mouth when you say /d/. So when we say /g/, notice that the back of your tongue should move, not the front!"

4. I will ask my students for examples of words with /g/. "What words do you hear the sound /g/ in?" I will write correct responses down, so that students can see how we write g. If students don't give correct words, I will acknowledge their efforts, but give them a word with /g/ in it.

5. "Now let me show you how to find /g/ in the word flag. Let me say it slowly… fff-lll-aa-ggg. Let's try it slower…. fffff-lllllll-aaaa-gggggg. I can feel the back of my tongue hitting the roof of my mouth when I say flag."

6. Let's look at our tongue tickler. "The goofy green gorillas' growl goes grrr." Now let's say it slowly. The gggoooffyy ggggrrreeennn gggggoorriillllaaa'ss gggrrroowwll gggoeessss ggggrrrr."

7. Now let's practice writing some G's. Each student will have a piece of primary paper. I'll say, "We use G's to spell /g/. When writing a capital G, you start like you're writing a big C. Start at the rooftop, make a curve past the fence, and then hit the side walk. You're not done here! Keep coming back up to the fence and make a flat line."

8. "Now let's practice writing the lower case g. You will stay below the fence this time, but we will also go down into the basement. Start like you're making a lower case c. Start at the fence, curve down to the side walk, go back up to the fence, making a little circle. Then, you bring your pencil straight back down into the basement, make a curve up, and go back towards the sidewalk.

9. Let's practice finding the /g/ sound. I'll hold up the word cards and model the first one. Show: GIRL: does this say girl or boy? The G says /g/ like "grrr" (do hand motion), so this word is ggg-ii-rr-ll. You try some: GRAPES: apples or grapes? BOOK: book or green? GOAT: lamb or goat? QUEEN: girl or queen? GOLD: yellow or gold?

10. Whole Text: "You've all done such a great job recognizing the /g/ sound in our words! Now we're going to read a book called Gorilla Be Good. Gorilla Be Good is a story about a little boy who goes to the zoo. When he returns home from the zoo, guess what he realized? A gorilla had followed him home! Will his mom let him keep the gorilla or does the gorilla have to go back to the zoo? Let's read to find out! You're going to get with a partner and take turns reading the story. After, we'll come together as a class and read the story again." Let students take turns reading until everyone has finished reading. Afterwards, we will come together as a class and I will re-read the book, discussing each page before we move on to the next.

11. For assessment, I will pass out the Purple Primate Worksheet. Students will color the words that begin with /g/ purple. They will color all other words green.


Megan Kasl, Gulping Grape Soda,

Assessment Worksheet:

Goofy Green Gorilla Image

Gorilla Be Good



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