Ha, Ha, Hooray for Reading!


Emergent Literacy

by Amanda Talley



Rationale: This lesson will help children identify /h/, the phoneme represented by H. Students will learn to recognize /h/ in spoken words by learning a meaningful representation (laughing) and the letter symbol H, practice finding /h/ in words, and apply phoneme awareness with /h/ in phonetic cue reading by distinguishing rhyming words from beginning letters.


Materials: Primary paper and pencil; chart with "Fred's furry ferret feels frisky"; drawing paper and crayons; Dr. Seuss's ABC (Random House, 1963); word cards with HOG, HIND, HIP, HEAT, HEEL, and HOPE; assessment worksheet identifying pictures with /h/ (URL below).




1. Say: Our written language is a secret code. The tricky part is learning what letters stand for—the mouth moves we make as we say words. Today we're going to work on spotting the mouth move /h/.  We will spell /h/ with letter H.  H looks like a ladder with one rail, and /h/ sounds like laughing.


2. Let's pretend to laugh,  /h/, /h/, /h/. [Hold tummy and laugh] Do you notice where your tongue is? (Touching back of lower teeth). When we say /h/, we blow air over our tongue.


3. Let me show you how to find /h/ in the word help.  I'm going to stretch help out in really slow motion and I want you to listen for the air coming from my mouth in a /h/ sound.  Hh-ee-ll-pp.  Slower: H-h-h-eee-lll-p. There it was!  I felt air blowing out of my mouth over my tongue. I can feel the laughing /h/ in help.


4. Let's try a tongue twister [on chart]. " Harry helped Haley hold the hot heater." Everybody say it three times together. Now say it again, and this time, stretch the /h/ at the beginning of the words. "Hhharry hhhelped Hhhaley hhhold the hhhot hhheater." Try it again, and this time break it off the word: "/h/ arry /h/ elped /h/ aley /h/ old the /h/ ot /h/ eater.


5. [Have students take out primary paper and pencil]. We use letter H to spell /h/. Capital H looks like a ladder with one step.  Let's write the lowercase letter h. Start just below the rooftop and draw a straight line down to the sidewalk. Without moving your pencil, begin drawing a curved line up to the fence and curve back around down to the sidewalk. I want to see everybody's h. When you are done, I will put a sticker on your page. Then I would like you to draw six more lower case h.


6. Call on students to answer and tell how they knew: Do you hear /h/ in hay or barn? valley or hill? hoop or jump? rhino or hippo? hopeful or sorrow? Say: Let's see if you can spot the mouth move /h/ in some words. Laugh if you hear /h/: Happy, funny, laugh, hug, hunny, far, hop, the, pink, happy.


7. Say: "Let's look at a book.  Dr. Seuss tells us about a funny creature who does not like green eggs and ham."  As I read, I want you to laugh if you hear /h/. Ask the children to make up funny words, emphasizing the letter h. Then have each student write out their funny /h/ word and draw a picture to illustrate their word.


8. Show HOG and model how to decide if it is hog or dog: The H tells me to laugh, /h/, so this word is hhh-og, hog.  You try some: HIP: hip or mit? HEAT: heat or meet? HIND: hind or mind? HOPE: hope or poke? HEEL: heel or feel?


9. For assessment, distribute the worksheet.  Students are to complete the partial spellings and color the pictures that begin with H. Call students individually to read the phonetic cue words from step #8.



Bruce Murray.  Emergent Literacy Lesson. "Brush Your Teeth with F". http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/sightings/murrayel.html


Worksheet: http://www.kidzone.ws/prek_wrksht/learning-letters/h.htm


Book: Dr. Seuss. Green Eggs and Ham. New York. Random House. 1960. pg. 18


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