C is exccccellent so let’s Ccccelebrate: learning the soft c

Jana Bell


Rationale: The goal for this lesson is for students to understand that c has two sounds. C can sound like k, as in car, or c can sound like s, as in pencil. It is important for students to be able to know this because it helps them to develop sight words with c’s easier. This lesson will help the student develop awareness of the hard and soft c sounds, and grow practice with developing sight words by wordmapping and reading words with both hard and soft c.

Materials: The teacher will need either a whiteboard or a projector, and a copy of the word wall that I have attached. The teacher will also need the book, “In the City: Learning the Soft C Sound” by Christine Figurito. The students will need paper, a pencil, and each student will need a copy of the attached soft c assessment sheet.

Procedures: Step 1: Today we are going to talk about the letter c and the sounds it makes. What are some words with c in it? Great! The letter c actually has several sounds. We are going to talk about two of them today. We already know that c makes what sound? It makes the /k/ sound like in car. What other sound can it make? It makes the /s/ sound like in circle. Great!

Step 2: Let’s look at some words!  I am going to show you how to do word mapping! Ok, I am going to say the word cent. Ccceenntt.  My mouth barely moves when I say that word. Cent. Now I am going to see how many syllables are in the words cent. There is just one so I don’t need any slashes to separate my syllables in the word cent. I am now going to see how many sounds are in the word cent. C-e-n-t. There are 4! I will draw 4 blanks. I am now going to spell the word cent in the blanks. Cent. There is one blank for each sound in cent. Now I am going to say it again and write it in cursive. What is different about the word cent? It is spelled with a c instead of an s! I need to remember the c sounds like s rule for the word cent!

Step 3: Everyone say the word city. Now let’s say it slow. Cccciiitttyy. Good! What does your mouth do when you say the word city? It goes from narrow to wide. How many syllables do you think are in the word city? Cit-y. Good! At this time the teacher will write a slash on the board or projector. This represents the two syllables in city. I want everyone to write this on their paper. The students will now also write a slash on their paper. Ok, how many phonemes are in the first syllable? C-i-t/y. 3! Great! So how many blanks are we going to need? Where should I put them? Good! I will put 3 on the left side for the first syllable. How many are we going to need for the second syllable? One! Great! So we will put one on the right to represent the sound in the first syllable. The students will also do this on their paper.  Now we are going to spell it! I want you to spell it in the blanks on your paper how you think the word city is spelled. Who would like to come up and fill in the blanks?  Does everyone agree? S-i-t/y If word is spelled with an s, I will say this: Ok, remember the different sounds of c that we talked about? One sounds like k, and one sounds like s. In this word, the c sounds like s. So it is spelled with a c, instead of an s. c-i-t/y. Let’s all say the word together. City. Now I want you to write it again in your best cursive writing down below. Great job!

Step 4: Let’s try another word. Everyone say center. Cccceennntteerr. Your mouth pokes out at the end! How many slashes do we need on our paper? 2! Great! What about blanks? 5! Good! Now I want you to spell it in the blanks on your paper. Someone come up and show us how you spelled center.  C-e-n/t-er. Good! Now read it and write it again in cursive below. We will continue to do this with the list of words on the attached word wall.

Step 5: Now that we have practiced some soft c words, let’s read a book. Today we are going to read about the city. Let’s all read it together! We will now read “In the City: Learning the Soft C Sound” by Christine Figurito as a class. The teacher will put the book onto the projector so that each student is able to see the words. If it is possible, I will have each student read it individually with me.

Step 6: For the assessment, we will play the “Soft C Slap” game. This activity is fun, and allows students to actually read words with soft c. They can play in groups or teams. I would sit and watch or play with them to see how the students do as they read the words. When the game is downloaded (below), the game also involves soft g words as well. I would just leave these out until we learned them. Then we could use both.


 Soft C Words for Wordmapping (website below)


I found the book on www.amazon.com. (Search the title and author listed in the lesson plan)

Assessment Activity—The Soft C Slap Game (downloadable on the website below)


I got ideas for my lesson from http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/spelling.html

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