Whistle While You Work

Emergent Literacy

Katie Guyton

Rationale: Children must understand phonemes in order to be able to read and write.  Phonemes are very important for beginning readers, if children do not understand phonemes they cannot read.  The goal of this lesson is for children to be able to recognize the letter w in spoken and written words.  They will learn what movement their mouths make when saying the w sound.  They will also learn how to write the letter w.


Chart with tongue twister: "Wendy whistles when she walks in the woods."

Primary paper for each child

Pencil for each child

The Worrywarts by Pamela Duncan Edwards

A worksheet for each student that has w pictures on it (ex. whale, woods, weasel, witch) and some pictures that do not have the w sound pictures (ex. carrot, bed, pillow, cat)

Procedures: 1. Today we are going to learn about the letter w.  Does anyone know what sound the letter w makes?  Wh-wh. Yes, that's  great! When we say the /w/ sound our lips tighten up really close and then out.  Today we are going to learn how to spot the letter w in words.

2.Does anyone know of something that makes the /w/ sound?  A washing machine makes the wh sound, so does a lariat.  Does anyone know what a lariat is?  It's like a whip.  Then I will show them a motion to use while saying the w sound. (I will make a motion like I'm holding a lariat.)

3. Now let's try saying a tongue twister (on chart). "Wendy whistles when she walks in the woods."  Can you say that three times in a row?  Now let's all say it together and stretch out the /w/ that is at the beginning of the words. "Wwwendy wwwhistles wwwhen she wwwalks in the wwwoods." Now let's try it again except let's break the w off of the word: "/W/ endy  /w/ istles /w/ hen she /w/ alks in the /w/ oods." Very good.

4. Now I would like everyone to take out their primary paper and pencil.  We are going to write the letter w.  Let me show you how.  You start off at the fence and slant down to the sidewalk.  Without lifting you pencil slant back up to the fence then slant back down to the sidewalk and one more time slant back up to the fence.  This is how we make the letter /w/. Now I want you to make nine more just like it.  When you see the letter /w/ in a word you know to make the /w/ sound.

5. Now I'm going to show you how to find the /w/ sound in a word.  When I stretch out the word whale I want you to watch my mouth and listen for the lariat sound.  Ww-ww-ww(Do you hear it) aa-ll.  It was in the beginning of the word.  Did you hear it?

6. Now I will call on student randomly to see if they heard the sound.  Do you hear the /w/ sound in walk or stride? Woods or forest? Water or coke?  I want everyone to wave their lariat in the air when they say the /w/ sound.

7. I will read The Worrywarts and every time the children hear the /w/ sound they will throw their lariats up in the air.  Can everyone show me their best lariats?  Those are great, so not while I am reading the book I want you to put your lariats up in the air every time you hear the /w/ sound. 

8. For the assessment u will pass out a worksheet with pictures that make the /w/ sound and pictures that do not make the /w/ sound.  They will circle the pictures that make the /w/ sound.  This will show me that they can recognize the movement their mouths make when they say the words. 



The Worrywarts by Pamela Duncan Edwards



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