Giddyup Gilbert

Emergent Literacy

Kelby Conway



Rationale: Children must learn to recognize the units of sound within words and the letters that represent them in order to spell and read successfully (Eldredge, 2005).  In this lesson students will learn how to pronounce and write the correspondence g = /g/.  Students will practice recognizing and identifying the /g/ sound in words.


Materials: One copy of the book beast feast; primary paper and pencil; chart with “Gilbert’s gopher gobbles grass greedily”; picture page with frog, gum, coke, grasshopper, eggs, goat, grapes, cat, and dog.


Procedures: 1. Introduce the lesson by saying that our written language is made up of letters.  In order to read the words on a page, we have to know what sounds go with the letters.  Today we’re going to learn one of these letters and the sound it makes.  The letter is g, and the sound it makes is /g/.


2. Let’s think about telling a horse to go faster by saying ‘giddyup’ every time we hear the /g/ sound.  Everybody say /g/ with me.  Let’s see if we can hear the /g/ sound in a word.  Let’s stretch out ‘frog.’  F-r-o-g-g-g.  There it is—do you hear it?  So let’s make our giddyup gesture like this (demonstrate by holding both forearms and hands in front of you and moving them up and down).


3. Let’s practice saying some words that have the /g/ sound in them with a tongue twister (direct students’ attention to chart with “Gilbert’s gopher gobbles grass greedily” on it).  Let’s say this together.  Now, this time let’s say it slowly and identify where the /g/ sound is.  Every time you hear /g/ make the giddyup gesture.  Say, G-G-Gilbert’s g-g-gopher g-g-gobbles g-g-grass g-g-greedily.


4. Point to the beginning of one of the words and say, we can use the letter g to spell /g/.  Let’s write it (have students take out primary paper and pencil).  First, we’ll learn how to write a capital G.  We form a big C, then come back to the line to give him a tray to hold straight.  Everybody try to write a capital G ten times.  I’m going to walk around the room and look at them.  Now, when you see this letter on a page you can read it by making the /g/ sound, especially if it’s at the beginning of a word.


5. Now, we’re going to learn how to write a lowercase g.  First, make an a, then add a long arm under it—to catch it if it falls.  Everyone try this ten times.  I will be walking around the room to see them.  Good, you can also read /g/ when you see lowercase g.


6. Now we’re going to practice hearing /g/ in words.  Raise your hand and tell me which word has /g/ in it and how you knew.  Do you hear /g/ in game or same?  No or go?  Frog or toad?  Pain or gain?  Grasshopper or cricket?


7. Read the story beast feast to students.  After the story has been completed, turn back to page 30, and explain that you’re going to reread this page about the grasshopper.  Tell the students to make the giddyup gesture every time they hear the /g/ sound.


8. Assessment: For assessment, pass out the picture page.  Go through the pictures as a class, making sure everyone knows what each picture is.  Ask students to color the pictures whose names have /g/.




Eldredge, J. Lloyd. (2005)   Teach Decoding Why and How.  Pearson Education, Inc.  Upper Saddle River, New Jersey. p.60-82


Florian, Douglas. (1994)  beast feast.  San Diego, CA.


Locklier, Amy.  Great giggly grins.

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