Dizzy Ducks


Emergent Literacy Lesson

By Lindsey Wise


This lesson will help children identify with /d/. They will learn to recognize /d/ in spoken words by learning meaningful representation and letter symbol, practice finding /d/ in words, and then use their own words with /d/.



primary paper

sign with "Daphne and Dan the ducks get dizzy during disco dances"

sign with a capital and lower case d



copy paper

hand mirrors (one per student)

book Dawdle Duckling by Toni Buzzeo and Margaret Spengler

word cards for dog, drum, deep, and drip

paper for teacher to record assessment answers



1. Introduce the letter d to the students with sign. "When we say a letter of the alphabet, our mouth makes funny movements, but those movements help us remember the sound that the letter makes. Today we are going to be moving our mouths to /d/.

2. "When we say d, our tongues are on the back of our top teeth and our lips are open a little. Now let's practice saying the letter d using our mirrors to see what our mouth looks like when we say /d/." Hand out mirrors to students and allow time for practice saying /d/ with the mirrors.

3. "Let me show you how to find /d/ in the word duck. I'm going to stretch out my word in a very slow motion so I can hear the /d/ sound. Dddd-uuu-ck. Slower. Ddddddd-uuuuu-ck. I felt my tongue on the roof of my mouth and my teeth. "

4. "Let's try a tongue twister (use sign). 'Daphne and Dan the ducks get dizzy during disco dances.' Now let's say it again but this time stretch out the /d/ at the beginning of the words. 'DDDDaphne and DDDDan the dddducks get ddddizzy dddduring ddddisco ddddances.' Now, instead of stretching out that /d/, we're going to break it off the word. '/d/aphne an/d/ /d/an the /d/ucks get /d/izzy /d/uring /d/isco.'

(Have students take out primary paper and pencil.) "We use letter d to spell /d/. We write the letter d like this: start at the fence with little c then draw a straight line to make d. Now make 9 more d just like that."

5. Read text: "I found a book called Dawdle Duckling. One day, Dawdle Duckling refuses to follow his mother along with his brothers and sisters. Instead, he wants to play and explore in the pond, but he finds out soon that the pond can be dangerous. What happens? What does he do? Will he learn to follow his mother? I'm going to read this book and as I read it, I want you to do one disco move in your seat whenever you hear /d/."

6. Writing activity: Tell the students to draw a picture of a duck, give it a name that starts with /d/ and write a 3-4 sentences about the duck.

7. Assessment: As students are writing about their duck, call them individually to assess, asking:  "Do you hear /d/ in door or paper? In sky or pond? In hide or light?"



Baker, Ashley. (2008). Emergent Literacy: Drum roll please. Research-based Lessons

from Pre-service Teachers. http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/sightings/bakerel.html

Lee Williams, CTRD 3700. Auburn University. Auburn, AL. 2008.

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