Joanie Baker
Emergent Literacy
Phoneme Awareness

Firemen Fighting For /F/
Joanie Baker

Rationale:  It is important that children learn that letters stand for specific mouth moves (phonemes). They must be able to recognize them in written and spoken words.  Knowing the phoneme f = /f/ teaches children to learn words like fat and flute.

Materials:  Paper, writing utensil, fireman puppet, One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish Book by Dr. Seuss, picture cards- notes cards with a picture of something that has /f/. (Examples: finger, flute, raft,..)

Procedure: 1.Introduce lesson by explaining that each of the twenty-six letters of the alphabet has it's own mouth move.  "We will learn the mouth move for /f/ and how to listen for it in words."

2. Now before we learn the mouth move lets see if we remember how to make the letter F.  Uppercase F- Draw a line from the rooftop all the way down to the sidewalk and next draw a line across the rooftop.  Then you draw a line across the fence.  Lowercase f- First, draw a candy cane curve at the rooftop and then drop straight down to the sidewalk.  Then you give the straight line a small pole to balance on the fence.  Now take out your paper and pencil and let's practice writing the letter Ff.

3. "Now lets practice the mouth move for /f/."  I say /f/.  "Can everyone make that sound? Put you hand in front of your mouth, do you feel air when you say /f/? Yes, you do."  Have the children tell you where there tongue is when they say /f/.  The tongue is behind the bottom teeth and your bottom teeth are touching your bottom lip. (Model for the children) Have them practice saying it together as a group.  Next we will learn how to listen for /f/ and recognize it in books.

4. Introduce sentence: Five Friendly Firemen Fighting Furious Fires Fast.  Have them say it three times as a group.  Let's find where we hear /f/.  Say the sentence very slowly and pause after you hear /f/.  "Excellent Work!"

5. Introduce Fireman Fred the puppet.  He needs our help fighting fires.  We must help him say some words so he can make it to the fire on time.  Fireman Fred can say /f/ but not any other rest of the word.  He will say the /f/ and I will say the rest of the word and you must put the parts together to find the word.  Remember, do it quickly because he has a fire to make it to.

/f/ ire = fire  butter /f/ ly = butterfly
 /f/ un = fun  hal /f/ = half
 /f/ ruit = fruit  gol /f/ = golf
 /f/ orest = forest cra /f/ t = craft
 el /f/ = elf  /f/ lamingo = flamingo

6. Next we will read the book One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish. We will make a picture of letter /f/ and put it on a Popsicle stick. When new read the book the students should hold up their letter /f/ every time that they hear a word with /f/.  Practice: with fast, camper, fantasy, afraid, sit.

7. Assessment:  Call each child up individually to a quiet place in the room and assess what they have learned by using the picture cards.  The pictures cards only have a picture and they must tell you whether or not the picture has the /f/ in it.  While I was working with each child I would have the other students drawing a picture of three things that had the letter /f/ in them.  Then the students would have to try to spell the word the best they could under their pictures.

Eldredge, Lloyd. "Teaching Decoding in Holistic Classrooms."  Merrill. C1995.
Chapter 5.
 Davis, Dara.  Droopy Dog Says.  2/26/02.

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