Letís Go to the Farm
Angela Atkins
Emergent Literacy
Rationale: One of the two best predictors of studentsí success in reading is their ability to recognize and name the letters of the alphabet (Adams).  This lesson should instruct teachers on how to teach corresponding letters of the alphabet with the corresponding phonemes by using farm animals. In this activity, Early Emergent and Emergent readers will identify items that were seen on a farm field trip, identify items as living or non-living, match picture words, and use the First Incredible Amazing Dictionary to practice identifying initial consonant sounds and learn facts about farm animals.

Materials:  Computer (1 for every 2 students), TV or projection device for modeling, My First Incredible Amazing Dictionary CD ROM, variety of small plastic farm animals, template of pictures of farm animals with their corresponding letters.  Access to Kidpix.com, primary paper, pencils, chalk, chalkboard.

(*This lesson should follow a field trip to a zoo or farm where students can see the animals and the sounds they make for themselves.)
1. Create a classroom word wall using the words of the items they saw.  Have some students make word cards for the word wall.  Have other students make pictures to go on the word wall next to the words.  Play a matching game with the student created words and pictures.
2. On the projector/computer show students the farm template and model using the moving van and magnet on kidpix.com to match the pictures and words.
3. In small groups, have students work at the computer using the Kid Pix farm template to match the pictures to the word.  They will have to use the moving van and magnet to move the picture under the correct word.
4. Introduce this center to students by using a guess box with one of the plastic animals inside.  Give the students both phonemic and conceptual clues about what is in the box. (Example A: Introduce the letter b. "TODAY CLASS WE WILL LEARN THE LETTER B. B SAYS buh, B=/b/. CAN YOU ALL SAY buh? ON THE COUNT OF THREE, LET'S ALL SAY B TOGETHER. 1, 2, 3, buh, buh, B.  (*B could stand for bear.) "OK, LET'S THINK ABOUT HOW WE MAKE THE LETTER B IN OUR MOUTHS. PUT YOUR LIPS TOGETHER AND SAY BUH, BUH, BUH. CAN YOU FEEL THE BEGINNING OF THE BUH ON YOUR CLOSED LIPS? KEEP YOUR LIPS SLIGHTLY OPEN WHILE SAYING BUH, LIKE THIS." Model.
(Example B: Explain that all letters stand for a mouth movement of sound, which is a phoneme. Today we are going to learn that the letter h makes the /h/ sound. Sometimes when we laugh really hard we can make the sound ha, ha, ha. Do you hear the /h/ sound? Let's see what kind of mouth movement we will make to get the /h/ sound. Everyone make the laughing sound ha, ha, ha. What kind of mouth movement did you make? I felt my jaw move down. Now let's try putting our hand in front of our mouth and see what happens. I felt air coming out of my mouth and blowing onto my hand.  (*H could stand for hippo.)
(Example C: Show the students the letter "R". Explain to them that this is the letter "R." Demonstrate on the chalkboard the letter "R" and tell the students that this letter makes the /r/ sound. Have the students repeat this after you. The letter "R" says /r/. Then, have students look at the picture of the frog . What sound does a frog make? Yes! A frog says "ribbit, ribbit." Good job!  Can anyone explain to me what your mouth does when you make the /r/ sound? Do you lift your tongue? Do your lips get in the "pucker" position? Let's all practice saying it together. Very good!)
5.  Model using the My First Incredible Amazing Dictionary CD ROM to locate the animal in the dictionary and find out more about it or validate what the students already know.  Be sure to show the students how you would like them to get started using the program.
6. Ask a student to pick a different animal from the basket
7. Have the class say the name of the animal and ask them to work together to decide on the beginning sound and letter of the animalís name.
8. Ask a different volunteer to come up and click on the first letter of the animalís name.
9. Ask a different volunteer to come up and find the picture of the animal and click on it.
10. Explore the page together as a class to learn more about the animal.
11. Explain to the students that they will complete this center activity with a partner.  One student will choose the animal and be the "director", the other student will be the "mouse driver".  Then, hey will switch jobs and do the activity again.

 Have students read: Dr. Seussís A B C, The Kite is the Key, other letter books pertaining to the letter you are teaching.

 Assessment:  Use the student made word wall and compare it to the computer template for self and group checking to see if the words are correctly matched.  Evaluate if students were able to correctly name items seen on the farm.  Were students able to correctly match pictures to words?  Observe students to see if they are able to identify initial sounds, locate a specific letter in the alphabet, and if they were able to follow multistep directions.

 Reference: . Geisel, Theodore. Dr. Seuss's A B C. New York: Random House, 1963.
Hill, Tonya. 2001. "The Kite is the Key"-

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