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Emergent Literacy Lesson

Emergent Literacy

Roarrrr Goes the Tigerrrr

Karen Killeavy

Rationale: In order for children to become successful readers they must understand that letters stand for phonemes. Phonemes stand for spoken words. Before children can match letters to phonemes they must be able to recognize phonemes in spoken word contexts. This lesson will help children be able to identify /r/. They will learn to recognize /r/ in spoken words by learning a memorable representation (Tigerrrrs go grrrr) along with recognizing the mouth movement of /r/. They will also learn the letter symbol R, apply phoneme awareness with /r/ in phonetic cue reading by distinguishing rhyming words from beginning letters.


·      Primary paper

·      Pencil

·      Drawing paper

·      Crayons or markers

·      Word cards with the words: Red, Rule, Reptile, Run, Ring (1 set for every 2 students)

·      Book: Rain by Robert Kalan

·      Assessment worksheet with different /r/ words


1.     Introduce the lesson: “The alphabet is complex we must learn that each letter of our alphabet has an important role. We move our mouths to create the sounds each letter makes. Today we are going to learn how to recognize when our mouths move to make /r/. /r/ is symbolized by the letter R which can be written by writing a P and then bringing your pencil down towards the right at an angle.

2.     Has anyone ever seen a Tiger? I have and you know what I always remember? I always remember their loud Roar and their big paws (make a claw with your hand to create a visual for the sound). That sound in “roarrrr” is representative of the letter R. Do you hear the /r/ in “Roarrr”? Now say it with me: “Roarrrr”. How does your mouth form when you say roar? Notice your lips are pursed, your teeth are close together and your front teeth push out a little. Now when we say /r/ make the sound go between your pursed lips and teeth close together.

3.     Now we are going to try and find /r/ in the word tiger. Listen as I stretch out the word listen for that sound we heard in “roarrrr” T-II-G-ERRRR.  T-I-I-I-G-ER-RRRR. Did you hear it? When I say tiger I can hear that /r/ from the sound of a tiger’s roar.

4.     Now we are going to try a tongue tickler. “Raise Ruth’s Red Roof”. Now let’s say it together a few times. Okay, now we are going to stretch out our /r/ at the beginning of each word. “RRRaise RRRuth’s RRRed RRRoof”. This time when you say the tickler break off our roaring /r/: “/r/aise  /r/uth’s  /r/ed /r/oof”.

5.     Okay class now you are going to take out a sheet of primary paper and a pencil.  Now we are going to practice writing our symbol for /r/ can anyone tell me what that is? That’s right the letter R is our alphabet symbol for /r/. A capital R starts out like our capital P, we go down, pick up and around to our fence. From our fence we go down slanting right. Now we are going to practice writing our lower case r. We begin at the fence, go straight down to our sidewalk and then we go back up to our fence and hook over below the fence to the right. Now I want each of you to practice writing 5 capital R’s on your own and 10 lowercase r’s on your own as I come around to evaluate.

6.     Now you guys are going to listen for /r/. I’m going to give you two words and you are going to tell me which of those words contains our /r/ sound that we hear in “roarrr”. Do you hear /r/ in rain or stain? Paper or Pencil? Fairy or Penguin? Alright now we’re going to use our tiger paws. As you hear /r/ put your paws up and roar. The, tiger, ran, fast, chasing, the, slow, rhinoceros, and, roaring, at, the, rest, of her, tiger, friends.

7.     Alright, now we are finally moving onto a story! We are going to read Rain by Robert Kalan. In this text we travel with the rain as it pours on to many different objects outside. What kinds of things do you find outside near your house and in nature that begin with the letter R? On your paper draw all the different things you may find outside that begin with the letter R. When you are done share with your tablemates and help them add to their drawing. Have one person from each table share their drawing with the class.

8.     Now students I am going give you a few minutes to quiz each other using the word cards on your desks to determine which word on the car has you roaring like a tiger with the /r/ sound. So before I let you go on to use the cards at your desk lets practice: Do you hear the tiger’s roar in the word Rent or in the word Bent? Good job RRR-ent is correct. Now you may take turns quizzing each other.  Cards should include: Red and Ted, Rule and Mule, Reptile and Peptide, Run and Fun, Ring and Sing. Before moving onto the worksheet go around checking to make sure every student was getting the answers correct.

9.     Assessment: Each student receives a worksheet to complete. Students should complete the spellings of the partial spellings given and then they are instructed to color the images beginning with R. On the back of their worksheets have them make up their own tongue tickler to go with /r/.



Tongue Tickler: http://www.twisterking.com/ 

Book: Rain

By: Robert Halan

Letter R formation:

Bruce Murray, Making Sight Words, Rokonkoma, Linus Productions, Inc, Page 294

Assessment Worksheet: http://www.kidzone.ws/kindergarten/r-as-begins-sf.gif

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