Got Gulp?


Emergent Literacy

Stephanie Fleming



Rationale:  In order to read, young children must be able to identify letters and the phonemes they represent.  Young children lack a conscious awareness of phonemes, therefore phonemic awareness must be explicitly taught.  For that reason it is very important to provide letter recognition activities that focus on the letter and the corresponding phoneme.  In this lesson, students will be introduced to the phoneme /g/.  They will be able to practice using and recognizing the letter g in both written and spoken language.


Materials:  Primary paper and pencils, a poster with “Gus’s guppies giggle when guys go in the garden” written on it; worksheet with pictures of objects that make the /g/ sound and some that do not: goat, boat, dog, girl, cat, frog, table, pen, grass, money, gold, flag; index cards, crayons, and Giggle, Giggle Quack by Doreen Cronin.


  1.  Introduce the lesson by explaining that every letter makes a sound that we can make with our mouth.  “Each letter has its own sound, and we must know these letters and their sounds in order to read and write.  Today we are going to learn about the letter g and its sound.  The /g/ sound can either be at the beginning, middle, or end of a word.  After our practice today, you will be able to pick out the letter g and the /g/ sound where ever it is!”
  2. Ask the students, “How many of you like milk?  Have you ever had a big glass of milk to drink?  I have, and sometimes when I’m really thirsty I drink a lot of it really fast and I make a guh, guh, guh gulp sound.  Have any of you ever done that?  This is what I think of that helps me remember what the letter g sounds like.  So, I want you to try it with me!  Take your hand and pretend that you are holding a big glass of milk and pretend to drink it by making the guh, guh, guh gulp sound.  Great!  Now we all know what the letter g sounds like.” 
  3.  Display the poster with the tongue twister. “Now we are going to say a tongue twister that is really fun! Ok, I will say it first, and then you can repeat it.  Gus’s guppies giggle when guys go in the garden. (Let them repeat the saying) Could you hear the /g/ sound like someone was gulping when you said that? Now, I want us to say the tongue twister again, but this time when you say the /g/ sound, make the motion of drinking your big glass of milk while making the gulping sound.  G-g-gus’s g-g-guppies g-g-giggle when g-g-guys g-g-go in the g-g-garden. Good job!” 
  4. Ask everyone to take out their primary paper and pencils. “Now that everyone knows how we say the /g/ sound, I think that we all need to make sure we know how to write the letter g and practice that for little while.  (Model how to write the letters on the board)  First, I am going to show you how to write the uppercase G and then we will move on to the lowercase g.  For the uppercase G: we are going to form a big C, then come back to the fence to give him a tray to hold straight.  For the lowercase g: we are going to first make a, then, gee, that’s a good idea. If the ball falls, it falls into the basket.  Great, now I want you to practice writing each letter ten more times on your paper.”  (Walk around and make sure everyone is writing their letters.)  
  5. “Now I want to see if I can hear /g/ in words where it’s not at the beginning! Why don’t we try the word begin. I am going to stretch begin out and I want you to listen for the /g/ in it.  B-b-e-e-g-g; there it is! I hear it in the middle of begin.” 
  6. “Now I’m going to see if you can hear the /g/ sound in some words.  The sound might not be in the beginning of the word, it could be in other parts of the word.  Do you hear the /g/ sound in gum or yum?  Late or gate?  Goat or coat?  Hat or get?  Log or pot?  Grip or drip?  Flag or top?  Moose or goose?  Shoes or pig?”   
  7. I am going to introduce the book Giggle, Giggle, Quack, by giving a book talk. “There are many animals on Farmer Brown’s farm, and they like to pull tricks on people.  Farmer Brown’s brother Bob has to watch the farm for him while he has to go away, and while he is there the animals think it would be a good idea to play some tricks on him.  So, duck leaves notes for Bob and makes him think that Farmer Brown sent them.  The duck asks for food, baths, and movies, and more!  You’ll have to read to find out what else duck does while Farmer Brown is gone and what happens when he gets back!”  After the book talk, I’ll read the book then reread it. “I am going to read the book again, and every time that you hear the /g/ sound, I want you to make the drinking motion and I will write each word on an index card and we can discuss them after reading the book and put them up around the room."
  8. For assessment, I will give students the worksheet with pictures that may or may not have the /g/ sound, and have them only color the words that do have the /g/ sound in them.



Cronin, D (2002). Giggle, Giggle, Quack. New York, New York: Scholastic.

Eldredge, J. Lloyd (2005).  Teach Decoding: Why and How, 2nd ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ:

Pearson, pp. 38.

Murray, B. Making Friends with Phonemes.  The Reading Genie

Watts, Abby “G-G-G-Gulp” Emergent Literacy Design.

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