Golfing with /k/

Emergent Literacy Design

Tommy L. Davis


Rationale: Beginning readers need many skills to succeed. They should work on phoneme recognition, decoding, crosschecking, and spelling during each reading lesson. These skills will enable them to become fluent and comprehensive readers. This lesson will help children identify /k/, the phoneme represented by K, C, and CK.  Students will learn to recognize /k/ in spoken words by learning a meaningful representation (sound of hitting a golf ball) and the letter symbols K, C, and CK, practice finding /k/ in words, and apply phoneme awareness with /k/ in phonetic cue reading by distinguishing rhyming words from beginning letters.


Materials: Primary paper and pencil; chart with "Carol and Ken can cut duck cake;���

drawing paper and crayons; Dr. Seuss's ABC (Random House, 1963); word cards

with CAKE, CAT, KEEP, KIND, DUCK, PORK, and FAKE; assessment worksheet identifying

pictures with /k/ (URL below).


Procedures: 1. Say: Our written language is a secret code. The tricky part is

learning what letters stand for���the mouth moves we make as we say words. Today

we're going to work on spotting the mouth move /k/. We spell /k/ with the letter K like in the word kitten.  We can also spell /k/ with the letter C like in the word cat.  And finally, we can spell /k/ with the combined letters CK as in the word duck.  No matter how you spell it, /k/ sounds like a golf ball being hit.


2. Let's pretend to drive our golf balls, /k/, /k/, /k/. [Pantomime hitting a golf ball] Notice

where your tongue hits the roof of your mouth? (Modeling tongue position). When we say /k/, our tongue touches the back part of the roof of our mouth.


3. Let me show you how to find /k/ in the word cake. I'm going to stretch cake out in

super slow motion and listen for my golf ball being hit. Kk-a-a-kk. Slower: Kkk-a-a-a-kkk.  There it was! I felt my tongue hit the roof of my mouth two times. I can the roof of my mouth in /k/.


4. Let's try a tongue twister [on chart]. ���Kenny wasn't kind in kindergarten when he kicked Kate in the kitchen." Everybody say it three times together. Now say it again, and this time, stretch the /k/ at the beginning and middle of the words. " Kkkenny wasn't kkkind in kkkindergarten when he kkkickkked Kkkate in the kkkitchen." Try it again, and

this time break it off the word: "/k/ enny wasn���t /k/ ind in /k/ indergarten when he /k/ icked /k/ ate in the /k/ itchen.���


5. [Have students take out primary paper and pencil]. We use letter K to spell /k/.

Let's write the lowercase letter k. Start at the rooftop.  Draw a straight line down to the sidewalk. Then go just above the fence and to the right of your initial line. Draw a line to the center of the line you drew and then go back out to the sidewalk under the original starting point. 


6. Call on students to answer and tell how they knew: Do you hear /k/ in work or

fun? dog or cat? open or close? duck or dust? stick or stone? Say: Let's see if you can spot

the mouth move /k/ in some words. Hit your golf ball if you hear /k/: The, fuzzy,

kitten, caught, bright, pink, mice, to, eat, for, breakfast.


7. Say: "Let's look at an alphabet book. ABC: A Child���s First Alphabet Book introduces us to something that flies on a string and begins with K. Can you guess?" Read page 11, drawing out /k/. Ask children if they can think of other words with /k/. Ask them to make up a silly

creature name starting with /k/. Then have each student write their silly name with invented spelling and draw a picture of their silly creature. Display their work.


8. Show CAT and model how to decide if it is cat or hat: The K tells me to hit my golf ball, /c/, so this word is cccat, fog. You try some: FIX: fix or mix? MEEK: meek

or meet? KIND: find or kind? FORK: fork or fort? BAKE: bake or bait?


9. For assessment, distribute the worksheet. Students are to complete the partial

spellings and color the pictures that begin with K. Call students individually to read

the phonetic cue words from step #8.


Reference:  The letterbox lesson: A hands-on approach for teaching decoding by Bruce A. Murray and Teresa Lesniak, The Reading Teacher Vol. 52, No. 6 March 1999 Pages 644-650.