Growl with R

Emergent Literacy

Ashley Bledsoe

Rationale: This lesson will help students identify the /r/ sound, the phoneme represented by R. They will also learn to identify the /r/ sound in spoken words by associating it with a meaningful gesture (growling while placing hands up in a scaring position) and the letter symbol R.  Students will also learn how to find /r/ in words and apply phoneme awareness with /r/ in phonetic cue reading by distinguishing rhyming words from beginning letters.

Materials: Primary paper and pencil; chart tablet with "Round and round the rugged rocks the ragged rascal ran."; drawing paper and crayons; Corduroy by Don Freeman; word cards with ROSE, RING, RAIN, FIVE, DROP, and FAR; assessment worksheet  identifying pictures with /r/ (URL below).


1. Say: The things that we write are like secret codes. Before we can break those codes, we must first know what the letters in our code stand for. When we say words, our mouths move in different ways. Today, we are going to work on spotting the mouth move /r/. We use the letter R to spell /r/. R looks like a big bear, and /r/ sounds like a growling bear.


2. Now, we are going to pretend to growl like a bear, /r/, /r/, /r/. [hands are like the claws of a bear in an upward position] Notice where the back of your tongue is? When we say /r/, the sides of our tongue touch our back teeth.



3. Let me show you how to find /r/ in the word grab. I'm going to stretch grab out in a really slow motion. While stretching it out, I'm going to listen for my big bear. Ggg-r-r-a-b. This time I'll go slower. Ggg-rrrr-a-a-a-b. That's it! I felt the sides of my tongue touch my back teeth.


4. Now, we are going to try a tongue twister [on chart]. "Round and round the rugged rocks the ragged rascal ran." Everybody, join in and say it three times with me. Say it one more time and this time, I want you to stretch at the /r/ at the beginning of the words. "Rrround and rrround the rrrugged rrrocks the rrragged rrrascal rrran." Try it again and this time, break the R off the word. "/r/ound and /r/ound the /r/ugged /r/ocks the /r/agged /r/ascal /r/an."


5. [Have the students take out paper and pencil]. We use the letter R to spell /r/. Capital R looks like a big bear. Let's write a lowercase r. Start at the fence and go down to the sidewalk. From the sidewalk, go back up to the fence and make a hook. Your hook will look like a c that is turned sideways. I'm going to walk around and check everybody's r. After I've checked yours, I want you make 5 more just like your first one.


6. [Call on students to answer and tell how they knew.] Do you hear /r/ in ride or hop? Shop or rope? Drip or pan? Time or pride? Pole or break? Now, I will see if you can spot the mouth move /r/ in some words. Let me see your bear claws and hear you growl if/when you hear /r/ in: The, little, furry, rabbit, hopped, far, and, landed, by, the, rocks.


7. Say: I'm going to read the book, Corduroy, aloud. I would like for you to follow along.


8. [Give booktalk]

Say: Corduroy is a toy bear and he sits on a shelf in a toy department in a large store. He wants someone to take him home, but nobody wants to buy him. One day, a little girl comes along with her mother and asks to buy Corduroy. Corduroy gets excited, but her mother refuses to buy him because they've spent all of their money and because he's missing a button. What do you think will happen? Do you think anyone will come along buy Corduroy?


9. Say: While we are reading, play close attention to the story. When you hear /r/ or see the letter R, I would like for you to growl like a big bear. Remember, I need to see your bear claws too! After the story, I will have students to draw a picture of a growling bear.


10. Show ROSE and model how to decide if it's ROSE or NOSE: The R tells me to growl like a bear, /r/, so this word is rrr-ose, rose. Now, it's your turn to try. RING: Ring or Sing? RAIN: Pain or rain?  FIVE: Five or jive? DROP: Pop or drop? FAR: Far or car?



Distribute the worksheet and mini-book. Students should trace and color the capital R and lowercase r on the worksheet. The students should also color the stickers on the worksheet so they can be used to complete mini-book. The students should also practice writing their R's in their mini-books.

Reference: Assessment worksheet and mini-book

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