Wink with William for Watches!



Emergent Literacy

By: Lauren Meredith

Rationale: This lesson will help children identify /w/, the phoneme represented by W. Students will learn to recognize /w/ in spoken words by learning a meaningful representation (winking) and the letter symbol W, practice finding /w/ in words, and apply phoneme awareness with /w/ in phonetic cue reading by distinguishing rhyming words from beginning letters.

Materials: Primary paper and pencil; chart with "Wink with William for watches"; drawing paper and crayons; Dr. Seuss's Wacky Wednesday; word cards with WET, WHY, WHEN, WAKE, WELL, and WALK; assessment worksheet identifying pictures with /w/ (URL below).


1. Say: Our written language is a secret code. The tricky part is learning what letters stand for - the way our mouth moves when we say words. Today we're going to work on spotting the way our mouth moves when we say /w/. We spell /w/ with the letter W. W looks like the number 3 with our fingers.

2. Hold up the number 3 with your fingers. It looks like a W. /w/ sounds like whoa. You say this when you are excited or amazed by something. When we say /w/ our mouth makes a small circle.

3. Let me show you how to find /w/ in the word snow. I'm going to stretch snow out in slow motion and listen for the "whoa". Sss-n-n-n-o-o-www. There it is! I felt my mouth make a small circle. I can hear the "whoa" at the end of the word snow.

4. Let's try a tongue twister [on chart]. "Wink with William for watches." Everybody say it three times together. Now say it again, and this time, stretch the /w/ at the beginning of the words. "Wwwink wwwith Wwwilliam for wwwatches." Try it again, and this time break it off the word: "/w/ ink /w/ ith /w/ illiam for /w/ atches.

5. [Have students take out primary paper and pencil]. We use letter W to spell /w/. Capital W looks like when we hold up the number 3 with our fingers. Let's write the lowercase w. Start at the fence and make a diagonal line to the sidewalk. Make another diagonal line back up to the fence. Repeat this two more times until you've made a w. You will have 4 diagonal lines in all. I want to see everyone's w. After I put a smile on it, I want you to make nine more just like it.

6. Call on students to answer and tell how they know: Do you hear /w/ in work or fun? Water or coke? Earthworm or fox? Growl orbark? Jaw or chin? Say: Let's see if you can spot the mouth move /w/ in some words. Hold up 3 fingers when you hear /w/: the, whistle, waddle, right, blue, wagon, flower, walk, borrow, far.

7. Say: "Let's look at a book by Dr. Seuss called Wacky Wednesday. Dr Seuss talks about all the wacky things that happen. Ask children what kinds of wacky things could happen to them. Ask them to invent a word that starts with the little W and to invent a definition and draw a picture that corresponds with the definition". Display their work.

8. Show WET and model how to decide if it is wet or pet: At the beginning of wet I see that my mouth makes small circle and sounds like /w/. So this word is www-et, wet. You try some: WHY: why or pie? WHEN: pen or when? WAKE: wake or make? WELL: sell orwell? WALK: walk or stalk?

9. For assessment, distribute the worksheet. Students are to complete the partial spellings and color the pictures that being with W. Call students individually to read the phonetic cue words from step #8.

Reference: Example of Emergent Literacy Design: Brush Your Teeth with W.

Assessment worksheet:

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