"Fishy Fish"

Katie Kirkpatrick

 Emergent Literacy Lesson Design


Rational:  I believe that it is very important for students to recognize and learn the letters of the alphabet.  Being able to recognize the written form of a letter and then stating the sound that the letter makes is a huge step towards reading.  The goal of this lesson is to help students become familiar with the written form of the letter F as well as being familiar with the /f/ sound.  Not only do we want students to be able to write and recognize F, we also want the students to recognize the sound F makes. 


Materials:  Primary paper, pencils, tongue twister on chart paper, picture activities (can be found in a phonics workbook), book One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, by Dr. Seuss.

 Tongue Twister:  Funny Frank found five furry friends.



  1. Discuss with students that each letter in the alphabet makes a different sound.  We have already covered many of the sounds, but today we are going to talk about the letter F.  Can anybody tell me what sound they think F makes?  Very good, F makes the fff sound.  One way we can remember the /f/ sound is by feeling what position our mouth is in when we say the /f/ sound.  Everybody say /f/ with me.  Do you feel top front teeth on your bottom lip?  Can anybody tell me were you feel your tongue?  Well, your tongue should be pushing against your bottom teeth.  Do ya’ll feel that?  Very good!  Now this is the fun part.  Everybody put your hand in front of your mouth.  Now say /f/.  Did you feel the air blowing out of your mouth?  I sure did.  But I felt the air shooting up towards my nose.  If you put your fingers on your nose and say /f/ do you feel the air?  Very good class!  Now you know how the /f/ sound is made.  So what sound does the F make?  Very good, the /f/ sound.
  2. Now we are going to practice listening for the /f/ sound.  I am going to say two different words.  I will say each word and then I will ask the class as a whole to raise their hand for the word that they heard /f/ in.  Do you hear /f/ in fish or dog?  Now raise your hand when you hear /f/.  Fish or dog?  Do you hear /f/ in snack or friend?  Fuzzy or pussy?  Fat or Cat?  Frog or Pond?  Belt or Felt?  What are some other words that you can think of that make the /f/ sound? 
  3. Have students think of their own words that have the /f/ sound either in the beginning, middle, or end.  Write these words on the board so that students can see the F that makes the /f/ sound.  If a student should say a word like phone, which makes the /f/ sound.  Write the word fone on the board.  Explain to students that phone does make the /f/ sound and that most of the time the /f/ sound goes with the letter F.  Explain that there are some words that make the /f/ sound but do not use the letter F.  Tell students that today we are going to focus only on the sound /f/ that is made by the letter /f/.  Tell the student that they were correct that phone does make the /f/ sound.  Do not make the child feel as if they were wrong!
  4. Tell students that we are going to be practicing writing the uppercase F.  On the board, create a line with a dotted line so that students can follow your lead.  Explain that when you write an uppercase F, you put your pencil at the roof of the line and go straight down to the floor.  Next, place your pencil back at the roof.  Make a straight line out to make a hat on the stick.  Next, starting at the fence, make a belt going to the right.  This belt is just a little shorter than the hat.  After that, you have made your F. 
  5. Show the students the Tongue Twister that is on chart paper. Read the tongue twister to your students one time.  Ask them if they heard the /f/ sound.  Now tell them whenever they hear the /f/ sound you want them to rub their noses.  Have you ever listened to the fizz of a coke?  Well, it makes the /f/ sound.  Have you ever drunk out of the glass when the coke was still fizzing?  Did it tickle your nose?  Well, whenever you hear the /f/ or the fizzing of the coke I want you to rub your nose because the fizz or the /f/ sound is tickling your nose.  Read funny Frank found five furry friends.  Watch to make sure students rubbed their noses when they heard the /f/ sound. 
  6. Read the book, One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish to the class.  Have them listen for the /f/ sound.  On certain pages ask the students to listen for the /f/ sound and rub their nose when they hear the sound. 


Assessment:  Have students complete a worksheet practicing with the /f/ sound.  For each question, have a picture that starts with /f/ and one that does not.  Have students decide which picture has the /f/ sound and circle the picture.  Have students practice writing the uppercase F on their primary paper.  



Dr. Seuss.  One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish.  New York; Random House Books for Young Children, 1960.  62 pgs. 

Carrie Sanders, "F is for Fish", http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/insp/sanderscel.html

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