Emergent Literacy

Yipping Yak!
Brittany Cofer

Rationale: This lesson will help inform students that letters stand for phonemes, which later help map out words by their spelling. By teaching y=/y/ phoneme, students will learn that the /y/ sound will go with the letter y. At the end of this lesson a child should be able to recognize the phoneme y=/y/ in spoken word and written text.


Materials:  Primary paper and pencil.

Chart with "The yipping yellow yak yelled, “yah!”"

letter boxes and laminated letters for phoneme spelling exercises (phoneme 3- yell, yep, yip ; phoneme 4- yak)

Yak (Educational Insights)

picture worksheet with pictures such as: yellow, yak, yard.



"Ok boys and girls, today we are going to learn about the letter y! The letter y can be heard in the word yak. Can you hear the "y" in yak? Point around the room at different things that have the y sound in them, write words on the board: yellow, yarn, young, your. Extend the /y/ sound in each word so the children can hear it.

2. "Now lets all try a tongue twister with the “y" sound". Write tongue twister on the board and point at the words while saying it through one time first. "'The yipping yellow yak yelled “yah!” Can you hear which words have the /y/ sound? Can I get a volunteer to come up and circle one of these words?". (Ask several volunteers to come up until all words with y are found). “Cowboys make the /y/ sound when they say “yah!” Can we all do the hand motion of a cowboy telling their horse ‘yah?’” (Motion of cowboy popping a whip.)

"I want us to practice saying the circled words with exaggeration. That means I want to be able to hear all /y/ sounds in this sentence. Ok lets all say the tongue twister together. ‘The /y/ipping /y/ellow /y/ak /y/elled, “/y/ah!" Great job!".


3. Ask students to get out their primary paper and pencil. "Now I want you all to watch me write the letter "y". Ok, now I want you to follow along with me as I write it again. Start at the middle dotted line and make one line all the way down in the ditch like this." (model) "Ok now lets start at the middle again and connect it to the other line right before we go into the ditch". Have students practice more while you walk around the room". After a few minutes do another model in front of the class. "You are all doing so well, I'm very proud of you!".


4. "Ok, now I want your groups (students will be seated in groups of four in the classroom already) to get out your letter boxes and letters. Please place them in the middle of your desks and wait. Ok, I want your group leader to get out the following letters: y, a, k, e, l, l, p, i. Ok, now I am going to call out some words and I want your pod to work together in deciding how to spell these words. Ok, let's start with 3 box words." Go through each word and then move to 4 box words.


5. "Ok class, great job! Now I want to read you a story. This is a short story called Yippy the Yellow Yak. This story is about Yippy the yellow yak. He is very bad in school. He does all kind of bad things during the week, and his friends get mad. Do you think he will start behaving better? Let’s find out. I want you all to pay very close attention. Every time you hear me say the /y/ sound, I want you to do the cowboy motion we did earlier. Are you ready?" Read the short story and watch for children to respond. Practice another time so that children get practice hearing the letter in the middle of text.


6. "Now I am going to pass out some worksheets. These works sheets have pictures on them. All of these pictures have the /y/ sound in their spelling. I want you to work very hard and I will be around to check your work." Pass out handouts, monitor class.


Assessment: Handouts will be used for assessment.

Resources: http://www.bearcreations.net/kearney/letters/letter%20Y/lettery.htm