Wander the World With the Worrywarts

Casey Moore


Rationale: Students need to learn the relationships between phonemes and graphemes before they can become fluent readers. In this lesson students will learn how to connect the phoneme /w/ with its grapheme W or w. Throughout the duration of this lesson, students will use tools such as pictures, gestures, tongue ticklers, and decodable texts to help them develop their awareness of the /w/ phoneme.



·        Poster board with the tongue tickler written on it – When the weather is warm we will walk with William in the wild woods.

·        A copy of The Worrywarts by Pamela Duncan Edwards

·         Picture of girl blowing out candles : http://www.google.com/imgres?q=cartoon+image+of+girl+blowing+out+candles&um=1&rlz=1R2ADBF_en&hl=en&biw=1024&bih=571&tbm=isch&tbnid=-KConbIL2Fs7bM:&imgrefurl=http://www.123rf.com/stock-photo/blow_the_candle.html&docid=qH3PGC9gVDcdMM&imgurl=http://us.cdn1.123rf.com/168nwm/mkoudis/mkoudis0706/mkoudis070600007/979531-young-girl-blowing-out-the-candles-on-her-birthday-cake.jpg&w=124&h=168&ei=sQLGUfb8NpDY8gT2nIH4Bg&zoom=1&iact=hc&dur=31&page=2&tbnh=134&tbnw=99&start=19&ndsp=26&ved=1t:429,r:26,s:0,i:162&tx=83&ty=80&vpx=151&vpy=83&hovh=134&hovw=99

·        Primary writing paper and pencil for student

·        Assessment worksheet with images of words with /w/ sounds like, a boy whistling, a wheel, someone walking, and also words such as apple, bear, and frog that do not have the /w/ sound.  



1.     Show the picture of the girl blowing out her candles. Say: Does anyone in here like birthdays? I do and I love to blow out my candles on my cake! Does anyone else like to blow out candles? Can you demonstrate what you do when you blow out candles? Allow the student to show the class what it looks like to blow out a candle.

2.     Say: Now I am going to show you how I blow out my candles. Notice what my mouth is doing? (making a small circle). When we say /w/, we blow air through the circle our mouth makes.

3.     Let me show you how to find /w/ in the word wish.  I'm going to stretch wish out in super slow motion.  Www-i-i-s-s-h.  Slower: Www-i-i-i-s-s-h. There it was!  I felt my mouth make a circle and blow out air. I can feel the candles in /w/ in wish.

4.     Let's try a tongue twister [on poster board]. "When the weather is warm we will walk with William in the wild woods." Everyone say it three times together. Try it again and this time break it off the word: /W/ hen the /w/ eather is /w/ arm /w/e /w/alk /w/ith /W/illiam in the /w/ild /w/oods. [Make sure this is said in a clear and organized way so the students understand].

5.     [Have students take out primary paper and pencil]. We use letter W to spell /w/. Capital W looks like the number three when we hold up our index finger, middle finger, and ring finger.  Let's write the lowercase letter w. On your primary paper, start at the fence. Draw a tilted line all the way down to the sidewalk. Then draw a line tilted the other way up to the fence.  The draw another tilted line the other way back down to the sidewalk. And then draw another line the other way back up to the fence. I want to see everybody's w. After I check your w, I want you to make nine more just like it.

6.     Call on students to answer and tell how they knew: Do you here /w/ in…

whale or shark?

we or us?

will or can?

want or need?

Say: Let's see if you can spot the mouth move /w/ in some words. Blow out your candles if you hear /w/: When the weather is warm we will walk with William in the wild woods.

7.     Say: "Let's look at a W book.  This book is about a Wombat, Weasel, and Woodchuck who want to wander the world.  But they’re overcome with worries of what they might find.  But they won’t be wimps. Every time you here the /w/ sound in the book act like you are blowing out your candle and make the /w/ sound with your mouth by making a small circle and blowing air out.  Listen as I give you an example. I am reading the title The Worrywarts, so I will pretend I am blowing out a candle and blow air out of the circle my mouth makes because I hear /w/ in Wwwworry and Wwwwarts. Does everyone understand what we are doing? The teacher should read the book aloud and pause each time the /w/ sound appears.

8.     The students will complete the worksheet by circling the words that begin with the /w/ sound and crossing out the words that do not start with the /w/ sound.



Murray, Bruce. Emergent Literacy Design: Brush Your Teeth with F.

Murray, Bruce. Moth Moves and Gestures for Phonemes http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/mouthmoves.html

Edwards, Pamela Duncan. The Worrywarts. Harper Collins Publisher. 1999. 10 pages.

Picture of girl blowing candles: http://www.google.com/imgres?q=cartoon+image+of+girl+blowing+out+candles&um=1&rlz=1R2ADBF_en&hl=en&biw=1024&bih=571&tbm=isch&tbnid=-KConbIL2Fs7bM:&imgrefurl=http://www.123rf.com/stock-photo/blow_the_candle.html&docid=qH3PGC9gVDcdMM&imgurl=http://us.cdn1.123rf.com/168nwm/mkoudis/mkoudis0706/mkoudis070600007/979531-young-girl-blowing-out-the-candles-on-her-birthday-cake.jpg&w=124&h=168&ei=sQLGUfb8NpDY8gT2nIH4Bg&zoom=1&iact=hc&dur=31&page=2&tbnh=134&tbnw=99&start=19&ndsp=26&ved=1t:429,r:26,s:0,i:162&tx=83&ty=80&vpx=151&vpy=83&hovh=134&hovw=99

Assessment worksheet: images of words with /w/ sounds like, a boy whistling, a wheel, someone walking, and also words such as apple, bear, and frog that do not have the /w/ sound.