Gus the Green Goat

(Emergent Reader)

Noie Yancey

Rationale:  Before students can learn to spell and to read, they must develop the knowledge that letters stand for phonemes and spellings map out the phonemes in words.  This lesson is about the grapheme /g/ in spoken words and written words. Students will be able to recognize the letter /b/ and will gain the confidence in using the letter/g/ in their writing and everyday speech. Learning the grapheme and phoneme /g/ is essential to help students become successful readers.

Materials: Letter boxes, words: Gus, green, goat, got. Letters: a, e, g, l, n, o, r, s, t, u. Dr. Seuss's Go, Dog. Go! by P.D. Eastman (Random House 1961). A toilet paper roll, a printer, glue, scissors, something to color with, a piece of paper, favorite marker color, Primary paper and pencil


 Say: Our language is made up secret markings. The tricky part is finding out what the markings mean and how to say them. Today we are going to be moving our mouths in a way that makes the sound of the grapheme /g/. We spell /g/ with the letter G. G looks kind of like a goat’s face.

2.       How about we try to make the goat sound with our mouth? (GGGGaaaa) Do you notice that when you begin to make the /g/ sound the middle of your tongue is at the top of your mouth and after to say the /g/ sound your mouth is still open? (Model for the student to see.)

3.      Let me show you how to find /g/ in the word got. I'm going to stretch got out in very slow motion and listen for my goat. Ggg-o-ttt. Slower: Gggg-oo-tt. There it was! I felt my tongue touch the top of my mouth and my mouth stays open.

4.      Let's try a tongue twister. " Gus the goat eats green grapes." Let's say it three times together. Now say it again, and this time, stretch the /g/ at the beginning of the words. "Gggus the gggoat eats gggreen gggrapes." Try it again, and this time break it off the word: "/g/ us the /g/ oat eats /g/ reen /g/ rapes.

5.       Have students take out a piece of primary paper and pencil. We use letter G to spell /g/.  Capital G looks like a goat. Let's write the lowercase letter g. Start just below the fence. Start to make a little o up under the fence, then draw a straight line on the right side of the lowercase o all the way down to the sidewalk. Then curve the line back under the lowercase o under the sidewalk. I want to see everybody's g. After I put a star on it, I want you to make nine more just like it.

6.      Call on students to answer and tell how they knew: Do you hear /g/ in bag or sack? Grill or stove? Golf or soccer? Egg or shell? Glue or tape? Say: Let's see if you can spot the mouth move /g/ in some words. Goat, kite, bear, dog, five, pig, card, grass.

7.       Have the students read Go, Dog. Go!

8.       For assessment, have the students construct a letter goat from the materials listed above. When the students have the goat assembled have them color a G on the stomach of the goat.

Resource: Go, Dog. Go! by P.D. Eastman New York: Random House, 1961.

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