Roaming the Rainforest with R
 Lauren Davidson
Emergent Literacy Design

winking lion 

Rationale: This lesson will help children learn how to identify mouth movements and sounds of  /r/ as well as the phoneme represented by R.


Students will make a meaningful association between /r/ and the letter R through helpful motions (roaring like a lion), the letter R, identifying /r/ in words



Primary paper and pencil

poster with Ruth and Rachel ran after Richard's rabbit in the rain

Rusty Red by Cynthia Klingel and Robert B. Noyed

drawing paper and crayons

bean bag

picture of a lion clawing



1. "Today we will be learning about the letter R.  R is a very important letter for us to know, but its also a tricky one!  We write /r/ with letter R.  When we write the letter R, we start on the fence, go down to the sidewalk, back up to the fence, and curve out a little bit.  R makes the sound /r/.  Can you say /r/? Lions say /r/ when they are roaring."


2. "Everyone stand up and follow after me.  Lift your hand and claw into the air like a lion clawing for food.  Now let’s roar while we do this motion (combine motion and /r/).  Notice how your mouth looks. Freeze and look at your neighbor to see how your mouth looks when you say /r/.  We open our mouth in a square shape and our tongue is in the middle of our mouth."


3. "When you hear the word "read" you hear the /r/ sound. (Say it slowly) R-e-a-d. See when I say read my mouth makes the /r/ shape.”"


4.  "Let’s figure out when we hear /r/ in some words.  When you hear /r/ let’s make the clawing motion like a lion that we did a minute ago.  Okay watch me first.  C-R-A-F-T. Now everyone do these words with me: soar, Fred, paper, free. Do you hear /r/ in rabbit or hawk?  Three or two?  Brad or Blake?"


5. "I am going to pass out some paper and we are going to practice writing the letter R. I am going to pass out paper. We are going to practice writing the letter that makes the /r/ sound.  To make a lower case r we are going to start on the fence, down to the sidewalk, go back up to the fence, and curve out a little bit. I will make one on the board (draw r on board) Now you make a row of r's just like that."



6. "When you are finished come sit on your square on the carpet. Now that everyone is here repeat after me: Ruth and Rachel ran after Richard's rabbit in the rain. Now let's look at the poem written on this poster. Notice all of the r's are written in red, but the rest are in black. When we get to the letter r, let’s all do the lion paw as we sat it out loud (read poem)."


7. Today we are going to read the book Rusty Red by Cynthia Klingel and Robert B. Noyed. Rusty is a dog who lives in a house with a very sweet family.  Rusty has a red coat of fur.  What other animals do you know who have a coat of fur?  Rusty has one very big problem.  He doesn’t know why he looks different than his family.  Will Rusty figure out how to be himself or will he try to be like the rest of his house?  Lets read to find out!  Listen for /r/ as we read the book.


8. "Let's play a game. When I toss you the beanbag, think of a really good word that starts with /r/.  I will start first "REMEMBER."  Good job catching the beanbag, Bob, now can you say a word that starts with /r/? Fantastic! Now toss the beanbag to a friend so they can name one." When the activity is over have students go back to desk.


9. "We are going to make pictures of things that start with /r/. I will give you crayons and some paper. I want you to be very creative and show me what you remember about /r/ and the letter R."



Teacher can assess group progress by walking around and observing students as they write the letter r across their lined paper. For individual assessment, the teacher will have them label/identify pictures of things that start with the letter r.



Cherof, Cassie.


Noto, Rachel.