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Emergent Literacy Lesson

Let's take a trip to the amusement park and ride a roller coaster with the letter W! Do not forget to blow kisses to your friends and family when you get to the very top of the roller coaster! 


Riding a Rollercoaster with W

Emergent Literacy

Audrey Hurdlow

a. Rationale: This lesson will help children identify /w/, the phoneme represented by W. Students will learn to recognize /w/ in spoken words by learning a meaningful representation (giving your mom or dad a kiss) and the letter symbol W (going on a rollercoaster), practice finding /w/ in words, and apply phoneme awareness with /w/ in phonetic cue reading by distinguishing rhyming words from beginning letters.

b. Materials: Primary paper and pencil; chart with "When the weather is warm we will outside."; picture of a teddy bear; There's a Wocket in My Pocket (Seuss, 1974); word cards with WARM, WISH, WELL, WAIT, EAT, WEEK, and WATCH; assessment worksheet identifying pictures with /w/ (URL below), worksheet teaching writing uppercase W.

c. Procedures are provided for carrying out the lesson. Lesson procedures are complete, showing what the teacher does throughout the lesson to make the lesson effective. They are clearly stated and sequenced so that the order of lesson events is obvious.

1. Say: Our written language is a map we are trying to discover! The tricky part is learning what letters stand for—when the mouth moves we make sounds, which are represented by letters. Today we're going to work on spotting the mouth move /w/. We spell /w/ with letter W. W looks like a rollercoaster track, and /w/ the sound is formed like you are about to give your mom or dad a kiss.

            2.     Let's pretend to give our mom or dad a kiss on the cheek, /w/, /w/, /w/. [Pantomime forming a peck, but say /w/ while doing so.] Focusing on helping the student to bring their lips together in a tight ‘O’. Blow kisses to the teddy bear picture. Then, point to your lips and make a new sound – the /w/ sound. Ask, “Now say /w/. Notice how your lips feel similar to forming a kiss? Now when you say /w/, but your hand on your throat and feel your vocal chords vibrate. When we say /w/, we form a tight O with our mouth and our vocal chords rub together to make the sound /w/.”

3. Let me show you how to find /W/ in the word wait. I'm going to stretch wait out in super slow motion and look for my kiss face. Www-aaaa-iii-tt. Slower: Wwww-aaaa-iii-ttt. There it was at the beginning of the word! I felt my lips form a kiss! I can feel the kiss /w/ in wait.

4. Let's try a tongue twister [on chart]. “When the weather is warm we will walk outside." Everybody say it three times together. Now say it again, and this time, stretch the /w/ at the beginning of the words. "Wwwhen the wwweather is wwwarm wwwe wwwill wwwalk outside.” Try it again, and this time break it off the word: "/w/hen the /w/ eather is /w/arm /w/e /w/ill /w/alk outside.”

5. [Have students take out primary paper and pencil]. We use letter w to spell /w/. Capital W and lowercase w look like a rollercoaster track. Let's write the lowercase letter w. Start just below the fence. Start by making a straight but diagonal line to the sidewalk to the right, then stop. Then make another diagonal line back up to the fence, but this time facing left, then stop. Now repeat what you did at the beginning, making a straight but diagonal line down to the sidewalk, then bringing another straight but diagonal line back to the fence facing right. I want to see everybody's w. After I put a smile on it, I want you to make nine more just like the first one.

6. Call on students to answer and tell how they knew: Do you hear /w/ in wish or fish? warm or cold? watch or latch?  Well or bait? Say: Let's see if you can spot the mouth move /w/ in some words. Blow a kiss if you hear /w/: We, went, to, watch, Willy, win, the, game.

7. Say: "Let's look at an alphabet book. Dr. Seuss tells us about a little boy talking about what strange creatures that live in his house, such as the yeps on the steps, the nooth grush on his toothbrush, the zamp in a lamp.” Read the title, drawing out /w/. Ask children if they can think of other words with /w/. Ask them to make up a silly creature name like wiwwy-wally-wim. Then have each student write their silly name with invented spelling and draw a picture of their silly creature. Display their work.

8. Show well and model how to decide if it is well or bell : The W tells to blow a kiss, so “wwwell or bell makes you blow a kiss? Well!” You try some: wait: wait or mate? fish: wish or fish? Wind: wind or find? Look: work or look? Week: meek or week?

9. For assessment, distribute the worksheet. Students are to complete the partial spellings and color the pictures that begin with W. Students will also trace big W’s and circle the correct letter at the bottom of the worksheet (see next page.) Call students individually to read the phonetic cue words from step #8. 


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