Speed Boating with N

Emergent Literacy Design

Abbie Simpson


Rationale: This lesson will help children identify /n/, the phoneme represented by N.

b Students will learn to recognize /n/ in spoken words by learning a meaningful

representation (speed boating) and the letter symbol N, practice finding /n/ in words,

and apply phoneme awareness with /n/ in phonetic cue reading by distinguishing

rhyming words from beginning letters.


Materials: Primary paper and pencil; chart with "Nick���s nanny napped all night";

drawing paper and crayons; (My N Book); word cards

with NOSE, NAP, NET, NIP, NINE and NAT; assessment worksheet identifying

pictures with /n/  (http://www.kidzone.ws/kindergarten/n-begins2.htm)


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 /n/. We spell /n/ with letter N. /n/

makes the sound that a speed boat makes.

2. Let's pretend drive a speed boat, /n/, /n/, /n/. [Pantomime steering a speed boat] Notice

where your tongue is? (Touching the roof of your mouth and back of your front teeth). When we say /n/, we blow air

through your nose.

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

super slow motion and listen for my speed boat. Nnn-e-e-ss-t. Slower: Nnn-e-e-e-sss-t

There it was! I felt my tongue touch the rough of my mouth and the back of my front teeth.  I can feel the speed boat /n/.

4. Let's try a tongue twister [on chart]. " Nick���s nanny napped all night." Everybody

say it three times together. Now say it again, and this time, stretch the /n/ at the

beginning of the words. "Nnnick���s nnnanny nnnapped all nnnight.��� Try it again, and

this time break /n/ off the word: "/n/ ick���s /n/ anny  /n/ apped  all /n/ ight /

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

Capital N starts at the rooftop and comes straight down.  Then put your pencil back at the point you started your N, except make a slanted line away from the first line all the way to the sidewalk.  Come back up to the roof with a straight line.  Now lets make a lowercase n. Start at the fence and draw a straight line down to the sidewalk.  Then start at the fence and make one hump down to the sidewalk.  I want to see everybody's n. After Iput a smile on it, I want you to make nine more just like it.

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

play? nip or tuck? mean or nice? sun or mad? team or ton? Say: Let's see if you can spot

the mouth move /n/ in some words. Drive your speed boat if you hear /n/: The, near,

fun, far, nap, nail, pink, niece, put, sun.

7. Say: "Let's look at an ���My N Book.���  It tells us about a boy named Nick who gets in trouble with his nanny. Can you guess why he gets into trouble?" Read ���My N Book���, drawing out /N/. Ask children if they can think of other words with /n/. Ask them to write a silly sentence using 2 words that begin with N.  Then have each student illustrate their sentence and share it with the class. Display their work.

8. Show NAP and model how to decide if it is nap or map: The N tells me to drive a speed boat, /n/, so this word is nnn-ap, nap. You try some: NOT: not or cot? Neck: neck

or peck? NOW: cow or now? NET: net or pet? CAN: cat or can?

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

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

the phonetic cue words from step #8.

Reference: Byrne, B., & Fielding-Barnsley, R. (1990). Acquiring the alphabetic principle: A case for teaching recognition of phoneme identity. Journal of Educational Psychology, 82, 805-812.l

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