R is Grrrrrrrreat!


Ellen Haynes

Rationale: This lesson will help students recognize the sound “r.”  Students will learn how to clearly pronounce the “r” sound by grinding their teeth together and growling “grrrr” like a dog. The “r” sound is very important in the English language because it can not only be used by itself, but it can be combined with other consonants and vowels to make different phonemic sounds.   This lesson will enable children to become more familiar with the “r” sound in spoken words.

Materials: Crayons/pencil; primary paper; word cards with:  rod, rim, red, road, rack, rat, rose, rip, roast; tongue tickler written on butcher paper: “Ruth and Rachel ran after Richard's rabbit in the rain”; little mirrors for every student,



1. Say: “Today we are going to learn how to say the /r/ sound. You hear this /r/ sound when a dog growls like this: ‘grrrrr.’  Can you try and say this sound with me? ‘Grrrrr.’ Great job!”

2.  Say: “Let’s all pretend that we are little dogs and we see something that makes us angry. What are we going to do? Yes! We are going to growl! Put your teeth together and make an angry face. Wow, you do look angry! We are doing this because it helps us sound out the /r/. When we make this face, we are able to say the /r/ sound in ‘rrrrran’ and ‘rrrrrainbow.’”

3.  Say: “I’m going to tell you a funny sentence: Ruth and Rachel ran after Richard's rabbit in the rain. Now I want you to repeat each section after me and I want you to make your growling face every time you have to say the /r/ sound, ready? ‘Ruth and Rachel…’ (let the children repeat.) ‘…ran after Richard’s rabbit…’ (let the children repeat.) ‘…in the rain.’ (let the children repeat.) Did you hear all the /r/ sounds in the sentence? Let’s say it once more. (Say the sentence once more.) Great growling faces!”

4. Say: “Remember how we acted like little dogs before and made a growling face? I want you to look in your mirror and make that face and growl like a dog. See how your teeth are together and your lips are apart. That’s very good! Remember, this helps us when we say the sound /r/.

5. Say: “Let’s test ourselves and see how well we know the /r/ sound. Do we hear the /r/ sound in the word ‘Monday’? No, we don’t. Do we hear it in the word ‘river’? Yes, we do. Do you see how I make a growling face when I say ‘river’? That means that this word has the /r/ sound in it.”

6. Say: “For our next activity, I have a liitle game. I will read you two words and I want you to tell me which word has the /r/ sound in it: Rope or call? (rope); Map or park? (park); Super or wide? (super); Mirror or smile? (mirror); Glass or radiant? (radiant)

7. Say: “I am now going to show you a few cards that have words on them. When I hold up a card, I will give you two options of what it could be. After I ask you, you will tell me which wourd you think it is. Ready? Let’s get started!”  (Rod: rod or cod? Rim: kim or rim? Red: fed or red? Road: road or toad? Rack: rack or pack?  Rat: cat or rat? Rip: kip or rip? Roast: boast or roast?) After every card say something like this: Yes, this card says rrrred like the color red. Do you see how we make a growling face when we come across the /r/ sound in ‘red’?”

8. Say: “Now that we know what sound the r makes, let’s try writing it!” (Demonstrate as you talk through the steps) “Make a small line starting at the dotted line and go straight down to touch the bottom line. Next, you put your pencil on the line right before you get to the top and make a small hump to the right just like this. Now I want you to try.” (Hand out primary paper and assist each student so they understand how to write the letter r.) “Great job!”

9.  For assessment, the teacher will distribute a /r/ sound worksheet out to each student. Directions ask for students to color the pictures that begin with the letter R. After all students have finished and the teacher has taken up the worksheet, the teacher will review the answers for extra practice.



Assessment Worksheet: http://www.kidzone.ws/imageschanged/kindergarten/r-as-begins2.gif


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