Busy Bees Buzzzzzzzz Around

Emergent Literacy Design

Sarah Grace Durrance


Rationale: This lesson will help children identify /z/, phoneme represented by z. They will learn to recognize the sound in spoken words by learning a meaningful representation like "Busy Bees Buzzzzzzzzzz Around." They will also learn phoneme awareness with /z/ in phonetic cue reading by distinguishing rhyming words from beginning letters.

Materials: Pencil, primary paper, poster with a picture of a Busy Bee Buzzzzzing Around and the phrase written on it, drawing paper and crayons or markers, assessment worksheet, Z word cards (zone, zap, zoom, buzz)


1)"Today we are going to learn about a special letter in our alphabet. The letter is z and a fun way to remember this letter and the sound it makes is that it is like Busy Bees Buzzzzzzzzzz Around. And the shape of the letter z looks like a zigzag that a bee would make when it buzzes around."

2)"Let's practice saying the sound that the letter z makes. /z/ /z/ /z/ /z/, do you see how your tongue hits the roof of your mouth when you make the sound? This is how we pronounce this sound. Now lets try stretching the sound out like we are going to buzzzzz around for a long time. /zzzzzzzzz/ /zzzzzzzzzz/ /zzzzzzzzz/"

3)"I'm going to help you find the letter z in the word zipper. Lets stretch out the word zipper. 'Zzzzzzzzzz, i, ppp, errr.' And lets say it one more time. . . .  (repeated) Do you see how your tongue touches the roof of your mouth in the beginning of the word and nowhere else? That is how we found the z, and can hear it." If the child does not understand this, take a few moments to find the /z/ in different words and stretch out the sounds to make it easy to locate the phoneme /z/.

4)"Let's practice drawing the letter z. We are going to use this special paper and make a zigzag like the bee would when it buzzes around. Start at the top and make a big zigzag. We are going to take our pencil and make a straight like to the right then across to the bottom and then another straight line to the right. Do you see how this is a zigzag? This large z. is for the capital Z. For a lower case z I want you to make a smaller zigzag and start at the middle of the line and do the same thing, make a straight line to the right, then a smaller line across to the left and then another line to the right. Do you see how this is just a smaller version of the capital letter? Now you practice and make 10 more of each of these."

5)When I hear the words Hide and Size, I hear the /z/ sound in size. Do you hear the /z/ sound in size? (If they don't show them how to stretch out the word again to locate the phoneme /z/) Now I want you to try to see if you can find that buzzzzzzz /z/ sound in these words. Do you hear the buzzzzzz /z/ sound in Zoom or Boom? Bear or Zebra? Zap or Bag? Now can you try to say this tongue tickler with me? The zebra zoomed past the zigzag at the zoo. Lets stretch out these sound in this sentence to help." (If the child needs more practice with finding the /z/ sound in the two words, practice stretching out the words. If they need more practice in the tongue tickler, just say the sentence slower and practice finding the /z/ sound together.  

6)Tell the book talk for the book "Z is for Moose" by Kelly Bingham. This book is about a hungry bee that is hoping he can find some food, lets find out if he does. Then read the book aloud to the student. Ask the student questions and talk about the letter z in the book. If student has any questions at this point, help before working on the assessment worksheet.

7)Allow the student to go around the room and buzzzz around like a bee. Ask the student, "can you find anything in this room that makes the /z/ sound? I know this can be hard but I think we can find at least one thing!" If the student has trouble, point out a zipper on a jacket or pants, a zebra printed item, or a zigzag shaped line.

8)For assessment, hand out the assessment worksheet. Let students work on the questions and then color the busy bee and the letter z picture that are on the worksheet. Give ample time for the student to work on the phoneme /z/.

9)For additional practice with the letter z, please visit the link provided. http://www.learnwithplayathome.com/2012/08/the-z-of-learning-letters-90-ways-to.html


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