Dancing With Dolly the Dog


Emergent Reader

Amber Wright


Rationale: Studies have shown that "intensive, explicit phonics instruction resulted in comprehension skills that are at least comparable to, and word recognitions and spelling skills that are significantly better than those that do not.. Approaches in which systematic cod instruction is included along with meaningful connected reading result in superior reading achievement overall."  The overall goal of this listen is to get kids familiar with letter D.  They will be provided explicit instruction on the individual sound (phoneme)  /d/ make, as well as how to form the letter themselves.  The ultimate goal is to get students well on their way to becoming confident and capable readers.


Puppet representing Dolly the Dog,

Primary paper and pencils for each child

Giant D and d made out of felt

Dreams by Ezra Keats

Cards with pictures on it (some starting with d and others not starting with d)

Chart with the song "Dolly says the /d/ Sound"

Picture that students can color (http://www.childfun.com/color/alpha/d.shtml)

Test with pictures on it



1.      I will first introduce the letter D using Dolly the Dog.  "My friend Dolly the Dog is going to help all of us learn how to hear and write the letter D.  He knows that reading and writing can sometimes be challenging but if you know all the right tricks, it can be very easy!" 

2.      "Boys and girls, can someone tell me what the letter D sounds like?  I want you all to watch my mouth when I say the sound D makes."  (I say the letter emphasizing the sound).  Can you tell a difference when I say /b/ and when I say /d/?  Why don't you try it.  Everyone say /b/.  Now say /d/.  Can you tell that when you say /d/ your tongue hits the roof of your mouth? "

3.      I want us all to practice writing the letter d.  (I would pass out the primary paper and pencils; I will then put a giant D and d on the board.)  Notice how both big D and little d looks.  I want you to watch me draw it and then draw it on your sheet of paper.  Let us draw each one of them five times on our paper.   I will be coming around to see how amazing your writing looks. 

4.      Now I am going to show you some pictures.  I am going to show you the picture and then tell you what it is.  If you think the picture starts with the letter D, I want you to raise your hand. 

a.      I will show 12 pictures, all ranging in the letters they start with, but the majority starting with D.

5.      Now Dolly is going to teach you her favorite song.  Listen up as she sings it. "Dolly the dog likes to dance and say the /d/ sound. /d/, /d/, /d/, /d/, /d/, /d/, /d/, /d/, /d/, /d/, /d/, /d/, /d/, /d/, /d/.  I can say the /d/ sound." (tune is to Bingo).  Now here is the trick.  Dolly looooves to dance.  So every time we say /d/ we are going to do something different.  The first time we do it lets clap to the /d/.  Good job! Now let us wave our hands and sing it again.

6.      Good job boys and girls! You did an amazing job singing and dancing.  Why don't you meet me down here on the reading rug and cool down a bit while I read the book Dreams by Ezra Keats.  Can anyone guess why I chose this book to read? (wait for student responses)   That's right the word dreams has Dolly's favorite letter in it.  It starts with D.

7.      Okay, now I want everyone to go back to your seats because I have a picture I want all of you to color.  It has Dolly on it and the letter d! http://www.first-school.ws/t/alpha3_dog_b.htm

8.      You all did a great job coloring your pictures.  Before we have a test on our letter D.  I want to be sure everyone knows the sound d makes.  Can someone tell me what your mouth does again when you say /d/?  That's right, your tongue touches the roof our your mouth.  (I will call on students one at a time and give them two words, asking them which word they hear /d/ in).

a.      For example, "Sally do you hear /d/ in dog or fog?"

b.      "Josh do you hear /d/ in duck or buck?"

c.       Each student will get asked a question.

9.      For assessment, I will distribute a worksheet with pictures on it.   Each problem will have two pictures.  I will discuss what each picture is to eliminate any confusion.  Students are to circle the picture that starts with the letter d.  It will also have lines at the bottom of the page where students will be asked to write an upper and lower case d three times each. 

10.   Great job dancing with Dolly today guys.  I hope everyone has learned the trick to hearing the letter d, and making the letter.  Like dolly says, it isn't hard to do if you just know the trick.  Why don't we end today by dancing with Dolly while we sing her favorite song.  Any suggestions on the type of move we can do on our /d/ sound?


Adams, Marilyn J. (1990). Beginning to Read: Thinking and Learning About Print. Center for the Study           of Reading Research and Education Center. Pg 12.

Keats, Ezra Jack. Dreams. New York,  Puffin Books, 2000.

Dog Theme Preschool Activities and Crafts. http://www.first-school.ws/t/alpha3_dog_b.htm

Teacher Planet Teaching website.  http://www.teacherplanet.com/resource/letterd.php

The Reading Genie website. http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/
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