Nothing but Nests

Coleman Ellis

Emergent Literacy




The two greatest factors in learning to read are letter recognition and phonemic awareness. The goal of this lesson is to introduce a letter of the alphabet. The letter we will be looking at and discussing is N. I will demonstrate the creation of the upper case N and the lower case n. I will also teach the students the sound the letter n makes while alone free from combination. I hope for the children to write and recognize both lower and uppercase N






  1. “Who can tell me what makes up a word? Yes that’s right! Letters.  In our alphabet we have twenty-six letters. Why do we use letters?  Awesome, that’s right! We use letters to make words and use words to read.  We want to be great readers so let’s practice hard!
  2. “Let’s review some letters that we already know”. For review I would hold up flash cards of letters that we have already covered. The class should make the sounds of the letters that I hold up. This will include both short and long vowels. That we have covered up to this point.
  3. “Today we are going to learn a new sound N. We are going to read a story that has a lot of N’s in it. The book Nests shows us the different types of nests that animals live in. The we will see if we can come up with anymore types of nests.”
  4. “Now we are going to practice our /n/ sound. Lets pretend like we are pushing down on the throttle in our boat. (I will model what this looks like and how it makes the /n/ sound. Then, we will use this motion and stretch our /n/ out every time we say this sound in our tongue twister. We will say as a class “Nancy’s neighbor’s nest was very nice and neat.”
  5. . “Now that everyone has got our /n/ sound that N makes. Let’s practice writing our new letterI will demonstrate the letter N, upper case. While I am making the letter N, I will tell the students the position of the different lines using the sky, fence, and ground. The students will have already learned how to create other letters using this method“For an upper case N we start at the sky and go straight down to the ground. Then we start back at the sky following the mountain down to the ground and straight back up to the sky.” Students will practice writing for 5 times.  While they are working I will walk around and help any students that may be confused. After everyone has their 5 letters I will model the lower case letter. “Ok everyone, let’s learn now how to do our lower case letter n.  For little n we start at the fence and go straight down to the ground and bounce back up to the fence and see a hill and go back down to the ground.” Students practice this just like with the upper case letter.
  6. At this point I will have students listen to the story “Nests”.  Before I start I will give a book talk. “In this book we will see many different kinds of nests, so let’s read the book and see if there are any nests that we recognize. While reading I will have the students do the “boat throttle” signal when they see or hear the letter N in the story. Also, we will extend this as a class giving everyone a chance to tell a nest that they have seen or heard of and model it using there “boat throttle” signal when they say the N.




            I will show pictures or drawing that start with N (some that do not start with N), and the students will give me the”boat throttle” sign if it starts with N.




N is for Nest! by. Erin Dyle


The Reading Genie



Young, Christine. (1993). Nests. Bethell, Washington.

            © Lands End Publishing

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