Flapping Flag F

Elise Schupp

Emergent Literacy Design


Rationale: This lesson will help children identify /f/, the phoneme represented by F.  Students will learn to recognize /f/ in spoken words by learning a memorable and meaningful representation (flag flying) and the letter symbol F, practice finding /f/ in words, and apply phoneme awareness with /f/ in phonetic cue reading.



Chart with ''Fred's fantastic french fries are full of flavor''

Dr. Seuss's One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish (Random House, 1960)

word cards with FIX, RAKE, FRY, HIVE, FORK

construction paper

craft sticks


assessment worksheet.




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 /f/. We spell /f/ with letter F.  F looks like a flag, and /f/ sounds like a flag flapping in the wind.


2.  Let's pretend a flag is flapping in the wind, /f/, /f/, /f/. [Pantomime a flag flapping with your hand] Notice where your top teeth are? (Touching lower lip). When we say /f/, we blow air between out top teeth and lower lip.


3. Let me show you how to find /f/ in the word flag. I'm going to stretch flag out in super slow motion and listen for my flapping flag. Fff-ll-aa-gg. Slower: Fff-ll-a-a-gg. There it was! I felt my teeth touch my lip and blow air. I can feel the flapping flag /f/ in flag.


4. Let's try a tongue twister [on chart]. " Fred's fantastic french fries are full of flavor." Let's say it three times together. Now say it again, and this time, stretch the /f/ at the beginning of the words. "Fffred's fffantastic fffrench fffries are fffull offf ffflavor." Try it again, and this time break it off the word: "/f/ red's /f/ antastic /f/ rench /f/ ries are /f/ ull o /f/ /f/ lavor.


5. [Have students take out primary paper and pencil]. We use letter F to spell /f/.  Capital F looks like a flag. Let's write the lowercase letter f. Start just below the rooftop. Start to make a little c up in the air, then straighten it out all the way down to the sidewalk. Then cross it at the fence. I want to see everybody's f. After I put a star 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 /f/ in work or

fun? Fan or pan? On or off? Right or left? Stiff or sore? Say: Let's see if you can spot the mouth move /f/ in some words. Flap your flag if you hear /f/: Frank, is, funny, when, he, flies, his, flamingo, kite.


7.  Before reading the book, have students construct a flag out of construction paper and a craft stick.  Students should write the letter F on their flag and can color their flags.  Say: Let's look at this book, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish. I'll read the book to you, and when you hear /f/, wave your flag.


8.  Show FIG and model how to decide if it is fig or pig: The F tells me to flag my flag, /f/, so this word is fff-i-g, fig.  You try some: FIX: fix or mix?  RAKE: rake or fake?  FRY: fry or dry?  HIVE: hive or five?  FORK: fork or pork?


9.  For assessment, distribute worksheet.  Students are to circle the pictures that start with /f/.  Students can color their worksheet.  Display in class.


Reference:  One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss.  New York: Random House, 1960.

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