“D, d, d, Says the Drum”

Emergent Literacy Design

Ashley Baas

Rationale: This lesson will help children identify /d/, the phoneme represented by D. Students will learn to recognize /d/ in spoken words by learning a meaningful representation (beating a pretend drum,) and the letter symbol D, practice finding /d/ in words, and apply phoneme awareness with /d/ in phonetic cue reading by distinguishing rhyming words from beginning letters.

Materials: Primary paper and pencil; picture chart with embedded letter and tongue tickler: "David's daddy's dog didn't dig dirt in the dark"; drawing paper and crayons; Dr. Seuss's ABC (Random House, 1963); word cards with DIG, FOR, DOOR, MIND, BACK, and DRUM; assessment worksheet identifying pictures with /d/ (URL link below)

1. Say: Words we write are like a secret code. The tricky part is learning what letters stand for. They tell us to move our mouth a certain way to say words. Today we're going to work on spotting the mouth move /d/.  We spell /d/ with letter D. [show picture-sound card]. D looks like a round drum, and /d/ sounds like what you say when you hit it: d, d, d.

2. Let's pretend to beat the drum,  /d/, /d/, /d/. [Pantomime hitting a pretend drum in your lap.] Notice where your lips are? (Touching open lips). When we say /d/, we put our lips apart and let the air come out of our mouth. Our tongue also touches the top of our mouths. Do you feel that?

3. Let me show you how to find /d/ in the word Slide.  I'm going to stretch slide out very slowly and listen for d, d, d.  Sss-ll-i-i-i-d.  Slower: S-lll-i-i-i-d There it was!  I felt my tongue hit the roof of my mouth. I can hear myself say /d/ in slide.

4.  Let's try a tongue tickler [on chart]. "David's daddy's dog didn't dig dirt in the dark." Everybody say it three times together and hit your drum each time you hear /d/. Now say it again, this time break it off the word: “/D/avid's /d/addy's /d/og /d/idn't /d/ig /d/irt in the /d/ark.”

5.  [Have students take out primary paper and pencil]. We use letter D to spell /d/. Capital D looks like a round drum, but lowercase d looks like the stick we beat our drum with.  Let's write the lowercase letter d. Start at the fence, draw a curved line down to the sidewalk, like our lowercase c, then draw a straight line from the rooftop to the sidewalk. Now you have a little d. After I put a smile on your paper, I want you to make five more just like it.

6.  Call on students to answer and tell how they knew: Do you hear /d/ in sad or happy? Mind or Mars?  Four or door? dine or back? Broom or slide? Say: Let's see if you can spot the mouth move /d/ in some words. Beat your drum when you hear /d/: fish, bird, bug, deer, dog, camel, mink, dingo.

7.  Say: "Let's look at an alphabet book.  Dr. Seuss tells us a little boy dreaming.  Can you guess what they are?"  Read page with the letter d, drawing out /d/.  Tell children to beat their drum whenever they hear /d/.  Ask them what other things you could dream about that start with /d/. Then have each student write their animal name with invented spelling and draw a picture of it. Display their work.

8.  Show DOOR and model how to decide if it is door or floor: The D tells me to beat my drum and put my lips apart, /d/, so this word is dd-oor, door.  You try some: DIN: din or fin? DATE: mate or date? MIND: find or mind? DARK: dark or mark? DAY: day or say?

9.  For assessment, distribute the worksheet.  Students are to complete the partial spellings by adding d and color the pictures that begin with D. Call students individually to read the phonetic cue words from step #8.



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