Growling Tiger…Rrrrr
Emergent Literacy Lesson
Kara Oglesby

Rationale:  Phoneme awareness in children is imperative for future reading success.  Children must be able to recognize the relationship between a letter and its phoneme in order to learn to decode words when reading, and to spell words when writing.  In this lesson students will learn the r=/r/ correspondence.  They will be taught a way to be able to remember /r/, and will practice finding /r/ in words.

Materials:  Primary paper and pencils; paper lunch bags to draw a tiger face on; crayons or markers; poster with the tongue twister “Ricky ran in the rain” written on it; “Will You Forgive Me?” by Sally Grindley and Penney Dann; white computer paper, bulletin board decorated with tiger or zoo theme.

Procedures:  1. To introduce the lesson, I will tell the students that every time we say a word we use out mouth to make the sounds.  I will ask them to say their names to see how their mouths move.  Today, we are going to learn to find the /r/ mouth move.  Sometimes we may think it is hiding behind other mouth moves and it may be difficult to find, but we  will learn to find it in lots of different words.
2.  I will ask the students if they have ever been to the zoo and seen a tiger.  Have you ever heard a tiger growl?  When the tiger growls, it sounds like this: rrrrr.  This is the sound we will be looking at today.  I will show you how to find the growling tiger sound /r/ in a word.  You have to stretch the word out and say all of the sounds so that you can hear the growling tiger.  Let’s try the word run, rrrrruuuun.  There is the growling tiger sound /r/ at the front of the word.
3. Now, we are going to learn a tongue twister to help us remember the /r/ sound (on poster).  I will say it first, and then everyone say it together after me.  “Ricky ran in the rain.”  Good job!  Now, let’s say it again, but this time stretch out the growling tiger sound /r/ that is at the beginning of some of the words.  “Rrrricky rrran in the rrrain.”  Say it one more time, and really let me hear that growling tiger sound.  “Rrricky rrran in the rrrain.”  Great work!  I really heard that growling tiger.
4. I will pass out paper lunch bags and crayons or markers to each student.  I will give them approximately five minutes to draw a tiger face on their lunch bag to make a growling tiger puppet.  When everyone is finished, I will ask the students to put their puppet on their hand and put their hand in their lap.  I will then explain:  Now we are going to hunt for /r/ in words.  I will say a word, and if you hear the growling tiger sound, put your tiger puppet in the air and make him growl rrrrr.  Here we go.  Park?  Dog?  Rabbit?  Bright?  Monkey?  Sun?  Tree?
5. There is a letter that makes the /r/ sound.  When we want to spell /r/, we use the letter r.  I am going to pass out paper and pencils, and we are going to practice writing r.  Start at the fence, go down to the sidewalk, then back up the same line to the fence and hook over.  Everyone draw an r and I will come around and check it.  When I put a tiger sticker on your paper, I want you to write a row of r’s .  Whenever you see an r, you will know to say the growling tiger sound.
6. I will read the book “Will You Forgive Me?” by Sally Grindley and Penny Dann.  I will ask the students to get their tiger puppets back out, and I will reread the story asking students to raise their puppets when they hear the growling tiger sound.
7. I will pass out white computer paper.  I will ask the students to draw their own zoo with their own animals.  They must write the names of their animals beside them, and then circle the animals that have /r/ in their name.  I will have a list of animals they must use.  Then they can choose some more animals from another list.  This is to ensure they have animals with the /r/ sound in their names. Then they will write a message about their zoo.  They will turn in their papers so that I can assess their knowledge of /r/.  I will then display their work on a Growling Tiger Bulletin Board.

Eldredge, J. Lloyd.  Teaching Decoding in Holistic Classroom.  Prentice Hall
 Publishing Company.  Upper Saddle River, NJ: 1995.
Byrne, B., and Fielding-Barnsley, R. (1990). “Acquiring the alphabetic principle:
 A case for teaching recognition of phoneme identity.”  Journal of
 Educational Psychology, 82, 805-812.

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