Gulp your Gatorade with G

Emergent Literacy

Mary Katherine Cooke


Rationale: This lesson will help students learn /g/, the phoneme that is represented by g. Learning phonemes is important for students so that they can eventually learn to decode and read words. Students will accomplish this lesson by learning a hand gesture, listening for the sound in spoken words, and using a tongue twister.



Poster with the tongue twister written out

            Gus gulps Gatorade after his game.


Primary paper




Officer Buckle and Gloria


Blank paper




Phonetic cue cards with words


Assessment worksheet



1.    Learning how our mouth moves when we say new sounds can be hard. Today we are going to learn some different activities to help us say our g.  

2.    Our written language is a code that we must break by learning how our mouths move when we say words. Today we're going to learn how the mouth says /g/, written with the letter g. /G/ is the sound you make when you gulp down a glass of water or milk.

3.    Let's all pretend to take a drink together. Everyone raise your glass (pantomime glass raising) and gulp. "Gulp, gulp, gulp." Good! For this sound, your mouth is open and your tongue raises up at the back of your throat to the top of your throat. The air passes through your throat and out your mouth, over your raised tongue.

4.    Now we are going to try and find the /g/ in dog. I will stretch out the word and listen for the sound in my mouth. D-d-d-o-o-g-g-g. D-d-d-o-o-g-g-g-g. There it is, at the end of the word. I hear the gulping sound when I say dog.

5.    We are going to try a tongue twister together [on the chart]. I am going to say this phrase and then have you all say it after me a few times. "Gus gulps Gatorade after his game." Now you say it. Let's draw out the sounds: "G-g-g-gus g-g-g-gulps G-g-g-gatorade after his g-g-g-game." Let's do it again, and this time break the sound off the word. /G/us /g/ulps /G/atorade after his /g/ame.

6.    Now we are going to learn to write the letter G with our primary paper and pencils. First we'll write an upper case G. To do this, you start at the rooftop, make a curve past the fence, and then hit the sidewalk, and go back to the fence, where you will make a flat line. Now you try. Let's write the lowercase letter g. Start at the fence and make a circle like you would in the letter a. Then drop the tail of the a under the sidewalk and curl in under the a. Watch me write one, and then try your own!

7.    I am going to say two words and I want you to raise your hand if you can tell me which one has /g/ in it and how you knew that. Do you hear /g/ in cat or dog? Finger or toe? Glue or tape? Fog or rain? Good! I am going to say a sentence and if you hear /g/ I want you to gulp your Gatorade. If you don't hear /g/ I want you to say "not thirsty." Ready? Gary, was, glad, to, play, games, in, grandmother's, green, garden.

8.    We are going to look at a book and see if we can find any gulping g's. In Officer Buckle and Gloria the Napville police department gets a new dog. Let's read about her. [Read page 4 of Officer Buckle and Gloria, drawing out the /g/ in words.] Have children draw pictures of a dog they've had or a dog they would like.

9.    Show card with GLUE and show students how to decide if it's GLUE or BLUE. I tells me to gulp, so I make the /g/ sound in g-g-glue. Now you all try: GAB: gab or cab? GAGE: gage or page? GAL: gal or pal? GALE: gale or pale?

10.                  For assessment, give out a worksheet and have students circle the pictures that have a /g/ sound. The worksheet will also have lines for the students to write out the letter g. I will individually listen to each student read through the phonetic word cards from #8.



Lauren Vacca. Buzz the Bee.


Rathmann, Peggy. Officer Buckle and Gloria. Putnam; New York, New York. 1995.

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