Wrapping It Up With wr

Elise Schupp

Beginning Reading


Rationale: In this lesson, student will learn the commonly used consonant digraph wr=/r/.  Students will learn the sound these two consonants make when found together.  They will recognize the digraph in written and spoken language through explicit instruction and reading.



 letter boxes for each student

letters: w, r, e, n, c, k, a, g, I, t2, o, c, l, m, s, d.

primary paper

class set of Henry and Mudge in Puddle Trouble

word cards for students to read: wren, wreck, wage, write, claim, wrong, state, trend

tongue twister printed on chart paper: The wren turned the wrong way and had a wreck.



1 Say: ''We've been learning the sounds and mouth moves that letters make.  Sometimes, when you put 2 letters together, they make a special sound.  Today, we're going to look at a pair of letters that make a special sound.''  Review with class the phonemes /w/ and /r/.  Point out that the when you put the sounds /w/ and /r/ together, you do not say /w/, /r/, but rather the w is silent and only /r/ is pronounced.

2. ''The letter pair, or digraph, wr makes the /r/ sound, just like regular r.  /r/ sounds like a growling dog.  When we say /r/, pucker our lips so the sound comes out sounding just right.  When you hear /r/, clench your teeth like a growling dog.  I'm going to say pairs of words, and I want you to raise your hand and tell me in which word you hear /r/. Remember to listen for our growling dog!  Do you hear /r/ in bear or lion?  Write or type? Rust or shine?''

3. ''Now let's try a tongue twister.  Say this with me: The wren turned the wrong way and had a wreck.''  (Students repeat tongue twister.)  ''Great!  Now let's stretch out the /r/ sounds.  The wrrrren turned the wrrrrong way and had a wrrrreck.  Let's say it one more time and clench our teeth like growling dogs as we say /r/.  The w/r/en turned the w/r/ong way and had a w/r/eck.''

4. ''Now we're going to practice spelling words.  I need everyone to get out their letterboxes and letter tiles and put their eyes on me.  I'm going to model how to spell a word.  I'm going to spell the word 'write', as in ''I am going to write a letter to my grandmother.''  Wr-i-t-e.  I know that /r/ is spelled as wr in this word, so I'm putting wr in the first letterbox.  /r/ -/I/-/t/.  I know that i comes next, so it goes in the second letterbox.  Then /t/ which I know is a t goes in the last letterbox. After the three letterboxes are filled, I know I have to add an e after the last box because this e changes what the i says. I'm going to read some words that I would like you to spell in your letterboxes.''  I will read the words individually and provide a sentence for each word.  The following words will be spelled:  wren(3), wreck(3), wage(3) write(3), claim(4), wrong(3), state(4), trend(5).  I will provide the number of letterboxes needed for each word.  I will circulate the classroom as students spell the words.  If students need help and are not able to self correct, I will provide assistance.  Students will then raise their hands to read the words they spelled in their letterboxes off word cards.

5. ''Now we're going to read Henry and Mudge in Puddle Trouble.  Henry is a boy and Mudge is his dog.  Henry and Mudge go on lots of adventures together.  In this book, Henry finds a special thing in after the snow has come and gone, but Mudge gets confused and eats Henry's special thing!  Then, when it rains, Henry and Mudge have to find something to do so they are not bored!  You'll have to read the book to find out what kind of trouble Henry and Mudge get into!''

6. Students will write a message on primary paper, responding to the prompt, ''What is your favorite thing to do with your family?''

7. To assess students, I will have them individually read wr-words or pseudowords.   I will note miscues.  I will have them tell me whether or not they hear /r/ in spoken and written words. 


References:   Henry and Mudge in Puddle Trouble by Cynthia Rylant.  New York: Scholastic Inc., 1997.


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