HHHH, I’m getting sleepy!

By: Courtney Dobbel
Emergent Literacy

Rationale: In order for children to learn to spell words, they need the alphabetic insight that letters stand for phonemes and spellings map out the phonemes in spoken words.  But before children can match letters to phonemes, they have to recognize phonemes. In this lesson, children will learn the /h/ phoneme.  By learning a meaningful representation, children will recognize /h/ in spoken words.

Primary Paper
Chart with “Happy Hank Hears Hooray for Hearing H”
Horton Hears a Who, by Dr. Seuss
6 cards with the pictures of a: horse, hand, house, hair, hat, heart, rat, baby, sack, phone
An assessment worksheet with pictures of H words and not H words

1.   Explain that all letters stand for a mouth movement of sound, which is a phoneme.  Today we are going to learn that the letter h makes the /h/ sound.  When we yawn we make the sound haaaaa. Pretend you are yawning, and hold your hand in front of your mouth. Can you hear the /h/ sound? Can you feel the air blowing out of your mouth?  
2.   Now I am going to read a fun tongue twister (on the chart).  Listen while I read.  "Happy Hank Hears Hooray for Hearing H." Did you hear the /h/ sound in any of those words?  Now let's all try saying this tongue twister together and listen for the /h/ sound, and if you hear the /h/ hold your hand in front of your mouth like you are yawning. Very good.
3.   Now let’s try and stretch out the /h/ sound at the beginning of the words, and again hold your hand in front of your mouth like you are yawning.  "Hhhhappy Hhhhank Hhhhhears Hhhhhooray for Hhhhheaing H".  
4.   Now we are going to try and write the letter h.  Everyone take out your primary writing paper and a pencil, but place your pencil flat on your desk.  First I would like for you to watch me demonstrate how to write the letter h and then you may try.  We are going to start and the very top of the road and draw and line straight down to the bottom of the road.  Then we are going to curve up to the middle of the road (the dotted line) and then come back down to the bottom again.  Now you may try. Let's try and make at least one row of h's.  If you need help just raise your hand.  Remember that when you see the letter h in a word it makes the /h/ sound.
5.   Now I’m going to show you some pictures some start with the /h/ sound, and some don’t. If you hear the sound /h/, put your hand in front of your mouth like you are yawning. Begin showing the pictures to the students.
6.  Next I am going to read "Horton Hears a Who" and have the students put there hand to there mouth  everytime  they hear the /h/ sound when you read.

Assessment: Pass out the worksheet with the pictures beginning with the sound /h/, and the ones without and have them circle the pictures that begin with /h/.

Dr. Seuss. Horton Hears a Who. Random House Books for Young Readers. 1954.

York, Lyndsay. Harry, the Hungry, Hungry Hippo. Spring 2003. www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/openings/yorkel

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