Racing on Racetracks

Valerie Vila
Emergent Literacy


Phonemic awareness and letter recognition are directly related to a child’s success in reading, spelling, and writing. Therefore, it is important for children to learn the letters of the alphabet and the sounds that they make for them to be good readers and rights. This lesson will be focused on teaching children the letter /r/. My goal for this lesson is to help students recognize, identify, and locate r = /r/ in spoken or written words.


Poster with tongue twister on it: Robert races red racecars rapidly.

Picture of racecar

Primary paper for each student

Pencil for each student

Book: Cynthia Klingel and Robert B. Noyed. Rusty Red. Child's World: 2005



1. Start the lesson: "Today, we are going to learn a new letter. Who can tell me what letter makes the /r/ sound? That is correct, it is the letter R. Now, I want everyone to concentrate on what our mouth is doing while we make the /r/ sound. Our tongue is touching the roof of our mouths. Now, when we make the /r/ sound lets make sure our mouth is making the right movement."

2. Ask the students: "Who knows what sound a racecar makes? Rrrrrrrr. That is correct. Let’s put our hands on the steering wheel and act as if we are driving a racecar. (show a picture of a racecar) The sound we are making while driving he racecar is the /r/ sound."

3. Finding the Letter R: "Now lets find /r/ in the word bright. We are going to stretch out the word bright by saying it really slow and listening for the racecar noise and for the movement of our tongue that makes. Br-ight. Good but lets try to stretch it out a little more. B-r-igh-t. Great. Did you feel your tongue touching the roof of your mouth? Great job."

4. Tongue Twister: Now, we are going to learn a tongue twister. (On poster board) "Robert races red racecars rapidly." Lets now all say it together three times. Now I want everyone to say it again but stretch the /r/ every time you say a word that starts with R. "Rrrobert rrraces rrred rrracecars rrrapidly." Lets say it one more time breaking the /r/ sound from the word. "/r/ obert /r/ aces /r/ ed /r/ acecars /r/ apidly."

5. Writing: "Everyone please take out primary paper and a pencil we are going to practice writing R. Lets start by making a capital R by starting at the rooftop go down past the fence and stop at the sidewalk. Now, start back at the rooftop loop around then the fence. The last step is drawing a diagonal line from the fence to the sidewalk. Now, lets make a lowercase R. First, start at the fence and drawl a line down to the sidewalk. Next, make an arc starting a little below the fence then go up to the fence and back down below the fence again. Those are great looking R’s and now I want to see nine more just like those."

6. Finding R: Call on different students to answer. Do you hear /r/ in cat or rabbit? Rug or wood? House or mouse? (neither) Left or rightSoft or ruff? Bright or dark? (both) Now, I want you to race your racecar when you hear /r/ in this sentence.  The, red, dog, likes, eating, radishes, rapidly.  

7. Reading: Now, I am going to show you a word and I want you to tell me which word it is. I will do one first for you. (show the word: RAT) is this word rat or bat. The R tells me to race a racecar and my tongue touches the top of my mouth so the word is rat. Now, it is your turn. RIGHT: might or right. DIM: rim or dim. RHYME: time or rhyme. RAN: ran or can.

8. "Now we are going to read Rusty Red. This book is about a little boy who has a rust red wagon.  He loves to run and do many things with his rusty wagon.  To find out all the things that he does with his wagon you will have to read Rusty Red."

For assessment hand out a worksheet. Worksheet will have the students finish writing the beginning sound that words make and color the words that start with R.


Jenna Landers. “Ta-Ta-Timer”

Assessment Worksheet:

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