J-J-J Jumbo Jellyfish!!

Emergent Literacy Lesson

By: Amanda Godbee


Rationale: Letter and phoneme recognition is extremely important for children to learn to spell words. Before children begin to read phonemes they need to be able to recognize them. Children must be able to recognize the relationship between a letter and its phoneme in order to learn to decode words when reading, and to spell words when writing. This lesson will focus on identifying j=/j/ in words by recognizing mouth movements.  My goal for this is to help students recognize, identify, and locate that j=/j/ in spoken or written words. By the end of the lesson the student will also be able to correctly write the letter j through practice.


       Primanry Paper


       Dry Erase board

       Dry Erase Markers

       Index Cards with words on written on them; half are words beginning with j

       Poster Board with nursery rhyme "Jack and Jill"

       j worksheet



1.      "Every letter of the alphabet means something different. It is important to know each letter and the sound it makes, so that we can read and write messages. If you were at the grocery store and your mom told you to go get some green beans, it is important that you know how to read the word "green beans" so you can pick up the right item at the grocery store."


2.      "Today, boys and girls, we are going to learn about the letter J. It can be heard in the words  jump and jazz." (Write the words jump and jazz on the board.) "When I see someone swimming in the ocean beside a big scary jellyfish; I try to warn them, but all I can get out is 'J-J-J Jumbo Jellyfish!!' I know I heard the /j/ sound in there somewhere because my teeth came together and then I opened my mouth. (Demonstrate this) '/j/ /j/ /j/ /j/umbo /j/ellyfish!' Can everyone say /j/ with me? /j/ Lets all practice making the /j/ sound five times. Ready? /j/ /j/ /j/ /j/ /j/ "


3.      "Now lets all try a tongue twister with the j sound". (Write tongue twister on the board and point at the words while saying it through one time first). 'John got juice and jelly on his jacket when Judy jumped on him.'"(Have the students read it all together.) "Can you hear which words have the /j/ sound? Can I get a volunteer to come up and circle one of these words?". (Ask several volunteers to come up until all words with/j/ are found).


4.      "Now I'm going to point to the circled words and say them out loud. After I say each word, I want you to repeat it to me with an exaggerated /j/ sound."

/j/ohn               /j/uice               /j/elly               /j/acket             /j/udy               /j/umped

Great Job!


5.      Have students take out primary paper and pencil. "Did you know that for every sound you hear in words, there is a symbol known as a letter that represents it? Think of the sounds you make when asking your mom if you can go outside and jump rope. 'Mom, may I go outside and /j/ump rope.' There is a letter that represents the /j/ sound you make! That letter is the letter j." Draw the letter j on the board.  When we write the letter j it looks like a fish hook. Draw a straight line from the fence down to the sidewalk and bring it down into the ditch with a little curve to the left. Then put a dot at the top of the fence, just like you did to the i. Everybody show me your j and if I put a sticker on it, then write 9 more j's just like it."


6.      Present the nursery rhyme "Jack and Jill" to the class and have them say each j with a /j/-/j/-/j/ before the j-word.



7.      (Show cards with the word JOG and FOG on them and read them out loud.) "Which of these words have the /j/ sound?" (Allow someone to raise their hand and answer.) "Yes, jog, because you see the j and it makes the /j/  sound. Its like a jet plane, j-j-j-j-j-j-j. When you can make the /j/-/j/-/j/-/j/ sound, the letter is a j. Now I'm going to let you try some more." (Show the rest of the cards and allow class participation.)

JUMP or CLOUD                  HAPPY or JOLLY                 JAZZ or ROCK


8.      For assessment, distribute the worksheet. Students are to circle the objects that begin with the letter j.







Adams, Marilyn Jager. Beginning to Read: Thinking and Learning about Print. Illinois (1990)

Murray, Bruce. 'Example of Emergent Literacy Design: Sound the Foghorn'.



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