Duh! It's D!
Emergent Literacy Design
Whitney Adams

Rationale:  Letter recognition is one of the two best predictors of first year reading achievement (Adams, pg. 36).  Children need to be able to recognize letters when they see them and connect a meaning to the letter symbol.  The goal of this lesson is to introduce the class to the letter d.  We will learn how to write the letter d, in both upper and lower cases, how to say the letter d, and to recognize and identify the letter d in spoken and written text.

Materials:  Primary writing paper for each student, pencil for each student, dry erase marker for teacher, tape on white board to mark primary writing lines, handout with pictures of words starting with d and those that do not (dog, doll, door, doctor, ball, cat, moon, sink), blank alphabet book page (plain white paper with two small pieces of primary writing lines to write capital and lower cased), glue, scissors, chart paper with tongue twister written on it, I Am Not Going to Get Up Today! by Dr. Seuss

Procedure:
1.  Introduce the letter d.  "TODAY WE WILL LEARN THE LETTER DD SAYS duh, D=/d/.  CAN YOU ALL SAY duh?  WHEN SOMEONE KNOWS SOMETHING THEY MIGHT SAY "DUH!"  LETS ALL SAY THAT TOGETHER·"DUH!"  NOW LET'S MAKE THAT BEGINNING SOUND LIKE A MACHINE GUN!  LISTEN TO ME FIRST, "D-D-D-DUH!"  YOU TRY!  THINK ABOUT WHAT YOUR MOUTH DOES WHEN YOU MAKE THAT NOISE.  THE TIP OF YOUR TONGUE JUST BARELY TOUCHES THE ROOF OF YOUR MOUTH, RIGHT BEHIND YOUR TOP TEETH.  THEN YOUR MOUTH OPENS A LITTLE BIT AND YOUR TONGUE POPS DOWN!  WATCH ME SAY IT (model) "duh".  Now you try!
2. As a whole class, ask children to raise their hands and tell me which words they hear d in.  "RAISE YOUR HANDS; DO YOU HEAR DUH IN DOG OR CAT?  HOW ABOUT IN PILLOW OR BED? DUH CAN BE AT THE BEGINNING OR END OF WORDS."
3.  Now we have a tongue twister (show the chart paper and point to the words as they are read).
Let's practice everyone say "David's dog dove down in the dirt".  Now when we say the tongue twister let's break off the beginning sound in the words that begin with D and machine gun that sound.  DDDDavid's DDDDog DDDDove DDDDown in the DDDDirt.  Great job!
4.  Turn to the primary lines on dry erase board.  "NOW STUDENTS, WE WILL LEARN HOW TO WRITE THE LETTER D, BIG D AND LITTLE d.  MODEL HOW TO WRITE BIG D, START AT THE ROOF, GO STRAIGHT DOWN, PICK UP, AND GO AROUND.  TAKE OUT YOUR PRIMARY PAPER AND PENCIL AND YOU TRY!  MAKE A WHOLE LINE OF BIG Ds" (I will walk around the room and observe the children's letter writing.  I will correct, encourage, and commend them)  "OK, NOW WE WILL LEARN HOW TO MAKE LITTLE d.  PENCILS DOWN, ALL EYES ON ME.  TO MAKE LITTLE d, FIRST LITTLE c, THEN LITTLE d.  NOW YOU TRY ON YOUR PAPER!!  MAKE ANOTHER ROW BUT THIS TIME WITH LITTLE ds" Again, I will walk around and help the children with their letters.
5.  NOW WE WILL MAKE ANOTHER PAGE FOR OUR ALPHABET BOOKS.  THIS PAGE WILL BE FOR THE LETTER D.  Pass out alphabet book paper, scissors, glue, and handout with pictures.  ON THE TOP LINES I WANT TO SEE YOU MAKE A BIG D AND ON THE LINES IN THE MIDDLE MAKE A LITTLE d.  NEXT I WANT YOU TO CUT OUT THE PICTURES ON THE HANDOUT I JUST GAVE YOU.  BUT YOU HAVE TO DECIDE WHICH PICTURES START WITH THE d-d-d-duh SOUND.  GLUE THOSE PICTURES THAT START WITH THE LETTER D ONTO YOUR PAPER.  Walk around the room helping students with their writing and on deciding if pictures have the d sound.
6.  NOW WE ARE GOING TO READ A BOOK CALLED, I Am Not Going to Get Up Today!  by Dr. Seuss.  THIS BOOK IS ABOUT A LITTLE BOY WHO DOESN'T WANT TO GET UP.  THE OTHER PEOPLE IN THE BOOK TRY ALL SORTS OF CRAZY THINGS TO WAKE HIM UP BUT HE WON'T GET OUT OF BED!  LET'S READ IT AND SEE IF ANYTHING GETS HIM UP!  The students will be asked to say, "Duh!" every time they hear the d sound in a word in the book.
7.  The students should be assessed on their responses to the book by observing those who say "Duh!" at incorrect times and those who say it at correct moments.  This will not be a surefire way to assess, but students who obviously have no understanding of the lesson will stand out.  As a more concrete assessment the students will be assessed by their alphabet book pages.
 

Reference:

Adams, Marilyn-Jager. (1990) Beginning to Read: Thinking and Learning
 About Print.  Center for the study off Reading and the Reading
 Research and Education Center, University of Illinois at Urbana-
 Champagne-12.

Dr. Seuss. I Am Not Going to Get Up Today.  Random House: NY, NY.  1987.

Trageser, Jan-Marie. Buh, buh, buh B!!!  http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/openings/trageserel.html
 
 

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