Lesson Design for Emergent Readers
By Cassie Keith
The ability to name and recognize the letters of the alphabet is one of the two best predictors of a child's reading success (Adams). This lesson will teach students to recognize the letter h in print and the phoneme /h/ in spoken words. This goal will be met by having children listen for and repeat the phoneme in spoken words and by having them practice writing the letter h (both capital and lowercase).
Primary Paper and pencil
Tongue Twister (Harry the hippo had a happy holiday) written on the board or a poster
a bag (or box) of objects--some that start with h, some that do not start with h (some examples are: a hat, a hippo toy, honey, a heart, a hamburger toy, a toy house)
Dr Seuss. Horton Hears a Who. Random House Books for Young Readers. 1954.
picture worksheet for assessment with pictures of ham, horse, butter, grass, hands, feet, and a hippopotamus.
The class will begin with a review of the letters previously taught, (vowels and some consonants). Discuss both the letter and the phoneme and ask students for example words for the phonemes.
Write the letter h on the board. Do any of you have a name that begins with the letter h? The letter h says /h/.
Ask the students: Do you hear the /h/ in the word hello? Good. It sounds kind of like a panting dog. Say it with me. When you hear me say a word and it has the /h/ sound I want you to wave like you are saying 'hello' to someone. Lets practice: /h/ello (stretch out the /h/)
Letâs try a tongue twister now: (reading off the board or poster) ãHarry the hippo had a happy holiday." Can you say it with me? (Repeat.) Now, let's really stretch out the /h/ at the beginning of the words. ãHhhhharry the hhhhippo hhhad a hhhhhappy hhhholiday.ä Let's try that again (Repeat again in the same way). Now lets do it again, only this time lets try to break the /h/ off of the beginning of the words like this /h/orse. Ok? Let's try it."/h/arry the /h/ippo /h/ad a /h/appy /h/oliday." One more time (repeat the same way again).
Ask students to get out their primary paper and a pencil. We use the letter h to spell /h/. Lets all write it together. To make the capital letter H: Down for a wall, down for a wall, then cross at the fence. Everybody try it. Please raise your hand when you are done and I will come and see it. After I have seen it, I want you to write a 5 more the same way. After everyone is done, show them how to write a lowercase h: Start at the rooftop, come down and hump over. Everybody try it. Please raise your hand when you are done and I will come and see it. After I have seen it, I want you to write a 5 more the same way. Now you know that when you hear the /h/ in a word, then that is your signal to write the letter h, and when you see the letter h in a word, then thatâs your signal to say /h/.
Ask the following questions to the students: Do you hear /h/ in happy or sad? horse or cow? jump or hop? mountain or hill?
Get out the bag of objects. Pull out the objects. Ask what they are and if they have the /h/ sound or not. For example, pull out a hat. What is this? A hat. Does hat have the /h/ sound? Yes. Good. Then pull out a ball. What is this? A ball. Does ball have the /h/ sound? No. Good job.
Read the book Horton Hears a Who by Dr. Seuss. Have the students wave hello whenever they hear the /h/ sound. Practice with the title, making sure everyone waves when they hear the /h/ sound. Have the students draw a picture of something from the story. Have them use invented spelling to write a sentence about what they drew. Display their work.
For assessment, distribute a sheet with pictures on it and have the students color the pictures that begin with the /h/ sound and x out the pictures that do not start with the /h/ sound.
Beginning to Read: Thinking and Learning about Print - A
Summary. Champaign: Center for the Study of Reading Research and
Education Center, 1990.
2. Dr Seuss. Horton Hears a Who. Random House Books for Young Readers. 1954.
3. Estill, Laura. Finding F. http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/guides/estillel.html
4. Dickinson, Sue. Spell, Read, and Write. How to Print Letters (handout).
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