Who is Knocking at that Door Door Door?


Samantha McClendon



            The goal for this lesson is for students to be able to recognize the letter d and the sound it makes in spoken works. The goal of this lesson is important because it increases the students' letter recognition ability and their phoneme awareness, which are the two main indicators of successful reading. The lesson activities will help reiterate the lesson and help students become familiar and practice their newfound skills with the letter d.

Materials:     Chart with the lesson tongue twister on it "Dewey the do-gooder does the dirty dishes."

                   Primary paper and pencil

                   Possum Come A-Knockin' by: Nancy van Laan, Dragonfly books, 1990

                   Copies of the assessment page that includes pictures of a deer, lamp, door, dog, candy, child, heart, and crayon.  


1.      Introduce: "All letters make a special sound. Today we are going to look very closely at one of those special sounds made by the letter d. The letter d makes a sound similar to the one you hear when you knock on a door with your fist. It makes this sound: /d/ (model for children). Can everyone say the /d/ sound with me?" Students should repeat the /d/ sound at least three times. "Now can everyone show a fist and act like they are knocking on a door when they say /d/?"  Students should do this two or three times.

2.      Review: "Now that we have practiced the sound /d/ makes, let us talk about what our mouth and tongue are doing when we say the /d/ sound. Say /d/ with me very slowly and think about what your mouth and tongue are doing. Does your mouth stay open? (yes) and what about your tongue? Mine is at the top of my mouth, is yours?"

3.      Explain: "Now that we all agree how to say /d/, let's practice using /d/ in some words.  I'm going to say some words and I want you to repeat them with me. The first word is date. Say date slowly. D-d-d-d-a-t-e. Did you hear /d/ when you said date? Did you feel your tongue hit the top of your mouth." Continue this exercise with dive, word, hand, deer, and grand. No matter where the /d/ falls, make sure you emphasize the /d/.

4.      Model: "After we have found /d/ in all of those words, we are going to practice a tongue twister. I'm going to read the tongue twister first and then we are going to read it together." Read tongue twister off of chart. Point to each word as you say it. "Dewey the do-gooder does the dirty dishes. Now everyone say it with me. Dewey the do-gooder does the dirty dishes. Good! Let's repeat it again, but this time say it nice and slow. Everyone raise up their fist because we are about to knock a door. Every time you say /d/, knock! D-d-d-e-w-e-y the d-d-o-gooder d-d-does the d-d-dirty d-d-dishes." To take the lesson further, ask the students what they think a do-gooder is.

5.      Practice: "Since we have practiced the sound the letter d makes, now let's practice writing the letter d. Everyone get your primary paper and your pencil out. It is very easy to confuse b and d. Just remember in order to make d you must first make a little c. (Model) first you start a little below the fence, go up towards the fence, touch it, and then drop back down to the sidewalk and around. You try it. Now that we have a c, what do we need to do to make it a d? That's right! Draw a line straight down from the rooftop to the sidewalk, closing in that c. Very good!"

6.      Reading: "Has anyone ever seen a possum? What do possums like to do? Well in the story I am going to read you, there is a little girl who sees and hears a possum knocking at her door. She tries to alert her family, but no one pays much attention to her. When they finally do, what do you think they are going to do if they see that possum?" Read Possum Come A-Knockin' and then discuss this story with the class. Ask the class to listen very carefully for the words that have the /d/ sound in them. If possible, go back and review some of the words in the story with the /d/ sound. For example, old and window are both words in the story with the /d/ sound. When the class is finished discussing the story, have them get their primary paper and pencils back out and write a message using invented spellings about an animal (can be any animal) knocking at their door. You might suggest different topics they could write about with their animal. For example, why is your animal knocking? Does he want something? Have the students draw a picture to go along with their message.

7.      Assessment: For the students' assessment, pass out a worksheet that includes pictures of words that include the letter d and also include some that do not. For example, pictures of a deer, lamp, door, dog, candy, child (or kid), heart, and a crayon. Have students circle the pictures that illustrate a word with the letter d in them.




Battles, E., Diving Deep. http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/encounters/battlesel.html


Whitman, Kristan. What a Fat Cat! http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/encounters/whitmanel.html

Chick here to return in the Voyages index.