Count Dracula, AW, AW, AW!

Emergent Literacy Lesson Design

Lindsay Dick

In order to learn to read and spell words, children need the alphabetic awareness that letters represent phonemes and spellings pave the way for phoneme in spoken words. Before they can match letters to phonemes, children have to recognize phonemes in spoken word contexts. For this lesson the student needs to hear and see phoneme and grapheme /o/=aw. The literacy goal of this lesson is to expose children to this grapheme and phoneme and help them learn to recognize them in speech or in writing. To accomplish this goal, the students will associate this phoneme with Count Dracula laughing and practice finding /o/ in words.

Primary paper and pencil and pen; chart with Drawings of tiger paws without any claw flaws, and rhyme Tiger Paws; word cards with Draw tiger paws without any claw flaws written on them; drawing paper and color pencils for the paws without any claw flaws, treasure chest with fake money and cards with words that have been used in this lesson.

Introduce the lesson by explaining that the letters we write represent certain sounds that we make when we are speaking. The part that is sometimes funny and weird is the part where we try to figure out which sound goes with each letter or letters. Remember that sometimes more than one letter can create just one sound. Today we are going to practice the /o/=aw sound. We will practice this short /o/ sound by searching for a hidden treasure.

Ask students:  Have you ever watched
Sesame Street and seen Count Dracula, the count who loves to count? Well every time he counts something he is so happy that he throws his head back and laughs like this (demonstrate /o/, /o/, /o/.) We are going to use the Count’s laugh to help us recognize that /o/ sound in words that we hear. Let’s practice. (Practice /o/, /o/, /o/.)

Let’s try a tongue twister (on chart). Draw tiger paws without any claw flaws. Let’s see if we can all say this three times and say all the words correctly! Let us say it again and this time when we say the words make the /o/ sound longer than the other sounds. Now separate this sound from the other sounds in the words. When you hear the /o/ sound we will be very happy and laugh like the count. Example /d/ /r/ - /o/ /o/, /o/, /o/, etc.

Have the students take out their paper and pencil. We will be using the letters aw to stand for the /o/ sound. Let’s write it. Don’t start at the fence. Start under the fence. Go up and touch the fence, then around and touch the sidewalk, around and straight down. For the next letter start at the fence and slant down, up, down, and up again. Now I want to see everyone’s aw and when you have received a smiley face then you can practice writing these letters until you have written them nine times. When we wee these letters together like this in a word that means we will make the /o/ sound with our mouths.

5. Call on students to answer and tell how they knew:  Do you hear /o/ in caw or beet? Fell or jaw? Rock or draw? Vest or flaw? Straw or best? (Pass out word cards to each student.) Say: Let’s see if you can spot the mouth move /o/ in some words. Show me /o/, /o/, /o/ if you hear the sound. (Give words one by one.) Draw, tiger, paws, without, any, claw, flaws.

6. Read Tiger Claws (on chart), the self written rhyme. Read it again and have students raise their hands when they hear words with /o/. List the words on the board. Then have each student draw their best tiger paw without and claw flaws.

7. For assessment, create a treasure chest filled with fake money as well as the words that we have already discussed in this lesson with and without the /o/ phoneme. Students will take turns drawing cards and attempting to read the words they drew. When they correctly identify the word and whether or not it contains the /o/ sound they can keep the card. If not, they throw the card back into the treasure chest.

Dr. Murry’s handout: Example of Emergent Literacy Design: Sound the Foghorn

Eldredge, J. Lloyd, Teaching Decoding in Holistic Classrooms. Chapter 5 Developing Phoneme

Awareness through Stories, Games, and Songs, 1995, Prentice-Hall Inc., Englewood Cliffs,

New Jersey, pages 56, 57.

Hill, Courtney,, Inspirations, Lesson

Designs from Preservice Teachers, Auburn University, Fall 2003

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