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Crack a Nut With C

Crack a Nut With C

Emergent Literacy Design

Susan Jordan


Rationale: This lesson will help children identify /k/, the phoneme represented by C. Students will learn to recognize /k/ in spoken words by learning a meaningful representation (Crack a Nut) and the letter symbol C, practice finding /k/ in words, and apply phoneme awareness with /k/ in phonetic cue reading by distinguishing rhyming words.

Materials: Primary paper and pencil; chart with "Carrie Can Count on Catherine to Count the Carrots,” word cards with CAR, CASE, CAMP, CATCH, and CAT; LMNO Peas (Beach Lane, 2010), blank paper and crayons; assessment worksheet identifying pictures with /k/ (URL below).


1. Say: Our written language is a secret code. The tricky part is learning what letters stand for—the mouth moves we make as we say words. Today we're going to work on spotting the mouth move /k/. We spell /k/with the letter C. C looks like a nut crack, and /k/sounds you are cracking a nut. /k/.

2. Let's pretend to crack a nut, /k/, /k/, /k/. [Pantomime cracking a nut (moving hand together)] Notice where the back of your tongue is? (Touching the roof of your mouth). When we say /k/, we blow a burst of air between the roof of your mouth and tongue. /k/.

 3. Let me show you how to find /k/ in the word camp. I'm going to stretch camp out in super slow motion and listen for my toothbrush. Ccc-a-a-amp. Slower: Cc-cc-a-a-a-mmm-p. There it was! I felt my tongue touch the roof of my mouth and blow air. I can feel the nut crack /k/ in camp.

 4. Let's try a tongue twister [on chart]. "Carrie Can Count on Catherine to Cut the Carrots." Everybody say it three times together. Now say it again, and this time, stretch the /k/ at the end of the words. "Cccarrie Cccan Cccount on Cccatherine to Cccut the Cccarrots.” Try it again, and this time break it off the word: " /k/arrie /k/an /k/ount on /k/atherine to /k/ut the /k/arrots.”

 5. [Have students take out primary paper and pencil]. We use letter to spell /k/. Capital C looks like a nut cracker. Lets write down lowercase letter c. Start like a little a. Go up and touch the fence, then around and up. I want to see everyone’s c. After I put a smiley face on it, I want you to make nine more just like it.

 6. Call on students to answer and tell how they knew: Do you hear /k/ in Sing or call? Case or bag? Color or white? Throw or catch? Clap or slap? Say: Let's see if you can spot the mouth move /k/ in some words. Crack a nut if you hear /k/: Catie, will, cook, a, cookie, for, her, camp, friend, Claire.

7. Say: "Let's look at an alphabet book. LMNO Peas is a book about a bunch of little alphabet peas. They are colorful, fun, and they all have their own interests, hobbies, and careers. Can you guess what kind of interests, jobs, and hobbies might start with C?” Read the page with the C and drawing out the words with /k/. Ask children if they can think of other words with /k/. Then have each student write his or her own job, interest, or hobby that starts uses /k/. The students will write their word, draw a corresponding picture, and color their picture. Display their work.

8. Show and model orally how to decide if it is cup or plate: The C tells me to crack a nut, /k/, so this word is ccc-up, cup. You try some: CAR: car or jar? CASE: case or lace? CAMP: lamp or camp? CATCH: catch or match? CAT: hat or cat?

9. For assessment, distribute the worksheet. Students are to color and name the pictures that begin with k. Call students individually to read the phonetic cue words from step #8.



Haylee Black- The Click of a Camera

Anna Day- It's So C-c-c-cold!

 Byrne, B., & Fielding-Barnsley, R. (1990). Acquiring the alphabetic principle: A case for teaching recognition of phoneme identity. Journal of Educational Psychology, 82, 805-812.l


Assessment worksheet: (Here are two worksheets that can be used. Pick only one that the whole class will use for the assessment.)



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