Ding Dong, It's D!

Emergent Literacy

Anna Beth Sanders


Rationale: Letter recognition is one of the best predictors of a child's future reading achievement (Adams 36).  To read, children must be able to automatically recognize letters.  In this lesson, children are taught how to recognize D, write uppercase and lowercase D, and the sound and mouth move that D=/d/ makes.


Materials: Primary writing paper and pencils for each student, dry erase or chalk board with marked primary writing lines, chart paper with tongue twister: Ding Dong, David's Daddy is at the door, picture page with deer, door, diamond, dog, cat, hat, dinosaur, sun, and rope, and the book The Doorbell Rang, by Pat Hutchens.



  1. Introduce the letter D.  "Today we are going to learn about the letter D.  Ding Dong begins with D.  Lets all say Ding Dong together, and ring the door bell( show motion).  Do you hear the D=/d/?  Lets say ding dong making the D=/d/ sound like a machine gun, like this, dddding ddddong.  Now you try.  What does your mouth do when you say D=/d/?  Did you feel the tip of your tongue just barely touch the roof of your mouth, right behind your top teeth, and then did you feel your mouth open a little bit and your tongue pop down?  That is what our mouths do when we say D=/d/. Let's say Ding Dong and ring the doorbell together and see if we feel it. Ding Dong."
  2. Name words to the whole class, some beginning with d, some not, some ending with d, some not.  Ask the class to ring the door bell when they hear D=/d/. Teacher rings doorbell on the first couple of D=/d/ words to model for the students. "Now I am going to call out some words.  If you hear D=/d/ in the word, I want you to ring the door bell.  You may here D=/d/ at the beginning or end of a word.  Deer, dog, cat, man, bed, mad, happy."
  3. Introduce the tongue twister, Ding Dong, David's Daddy is at the door.  Tongue twister is written on chart paper for the class to see. Repeat tongue twister with the class.  "Here is a tongue twister with D=/d/: (point to chart) Ding Dong, David's Daddy is at the door, let's say it together. Ding Dong, David's Daddy is at the door.  Did you hear D=/d/ in that tongue twister?  This time when we say it, ring the door bell when you hear D=/d/.  Ding Dong, David's Daddy is at the door.
  4. Model and instruct how to write D and d. Use dry erase or chalk board with primary lines.  Have the children use their primary paper.  "We Know what D=/d/ sounds like, now we will learn how to write the letter D.  Take out your paper and pencil and watch what I do.  (Model while instructing)  For big D we start at the roof, go straight down, pick up, and go around.  Now you try to make a D, start at the roof, go straight down, pick up, and go around.  Good.  For little d, first we make little c, then little d.  Now you try, first make little c, then little d.  Continue to make big D and little d, while I walk around the room to see how well you are doing.  (Teacher will help those having trouble).
  5. Introduce and read The Doorbell Rang. Ask children to ring the doorbell every time they hear D=/d/ in the book.  "Now we are going to read The Doorbell Rang, this is a book about some kids who are trying to share cookies, and more people keep coming to the door, so they have to keep sharing the cookies with more and moor people.  What sound does a doorbell make when it rings?  And when we say ding dong we say D=/d/, don't we?  Every time you hear D=/d/ in this story I want you to ring the doorbell.
  6. Assess the children using the picture page. "Now I am going to pass out a page with some pictures on it.  If the picture begins with D, like duck, I want you to circle the picture.  If the picture does not begin with D, like cow, do not circle it.



, Marilyn-Jager. (1990) Beginning to Read: Thinking and Learning
     About Print.  Center for the study off Reading and the Reading
     Research and Education Center, University of Illinois at Urbana-

Hutchins, Pat. The Doorbell Rang. Mulberry Books: 1986.

Adams, Whitney, Duh! It's D!:   http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/discov/adamsel.html

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