Red Rabbit Roundup

Emergent Literacy


Courtney Nims



Rationale: In order for children to be successful in phonics, reading and spelling, they need to understand phonemes and letter recognition. Children learn to recognize different phonemes and sounds by matching letters to their vocal gestures in spoken contexts. In this lesson, children will learn to recognize the letter r as well as the phoneme /r/. They will practice using and identifying the phoneme /r/ in written and spoken content.



-Tongue twister on chart paper (Red rabbits ran right into the road.)

-A picture of the lion that make the /r/ sound as he roars

-Picture Cards (Train, rainbow, frog, rose, chair)

-Primary paper (for each child)

-Pencils (for each child)

-Rusty Red by Cynthia Klingel and Robert B. Noyed

-Publisher: Child's World, 2005

-Picture Worksheet for Assessment (pictures: ball, duck, trash, rain, cake, rabbit)



1. Introduce the lesson by explaining to the students that we are going to learn a new letter and also the sounds that the letter makes.  Then ask the students to see if they can figure out the movement the mouth makes when you say r or /r/.


2. To make the /r/ sound, your mouth moves in a certain way.  "To make the /r/ sound, push your tongue back.  Curl the tip of your tongue upwards towards the roof of your mouth but do not touch the roof of your mouth. Round your lips and make sure your upper lip is above your front teeth."  "Lions like to roar." "When lions roar they make the /r/ sounds." Demonstrate roaring like a lion to make the /r/ sound.  Make sure to hold hand outstretched like the lion is clawing something as he roars and says /r/.  "Now let's all roar like lions /r/."


3. "Now, let's try to roar like the r sound in these words. "Repeat after me." Say each word once, and then repeat it with the students: train, rainbow, frog, rose, chair).Be sure to emphasize the /r/ sound in each word, and make the roar motion with your fist and claws on the /r/ sound. "Good job! Now let's try a tongue twister with lots of r's! "Say it with me." Point to the words on the chart as you say each word Red rabbits ran right into the road. "Let's read our tongue twister again two more times, but lets but our roars when we say /r/." "Now we are going to do it again and hold the /r/ sound at the beginning of the words. "RRR Red rrr rabbits rrrr ran rrr right into the rrr road." We are going to try it one more time, but we are going to break the /r/ sound away from the word: " /r/ ed /r/ abbits /r/ an /r/ ight into the /r/ oad." "Great Job, I love to hear the roaring lions!"


4. "Now I am going to need your helping finding the /r/ sound in these words. When you hear the /r/ sound I want you to put out your claws as you roar like a lion." Hold up pictures one at a time saying the corresponding word. Stretch out each word so the /r/ sound is clear. Pictures: train, rainbow, frog, rose, chair.


5. "Do you hear /r/ in car or pan?" Call on a student who is raising there hand to answer and explain how they knew to the class. Brush or comb? Watch or ring? Walk or run? Car or van?


6. "The letter r is going to help us spell /r/."Have the students get out primary writing paper and a pencil. "To write an r put your pencil on the fence, go straight down to the sidewalk, come up to the fence and make a hook. "I want everyone to write an r and let me check it to make sure you are doing it correctly.  Then I want you to fill up one whole line with r's." "Now you will know how to write an r in a word that has the /r/ sound!"


7. "Now we are going to read Rusty Red. This book is about a little boy who has a rust red wagon.  He loves to run and do many things with his rusty wagon.  To find out all the things that he does with his wagon . . .  you'll have to read Rusty Red."


8. To assess the students' individual understanding of the phoneme /r/. Give each student the page with different pictures on it. Some of the items contain an r and others do not.  Have the students circle the picture of the words that contain the /r/.



Murray, Bruce. "Sound the Foghorn".

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