Listen to the Rooster go ir-ir-ir-ir-IRRRRRR

Listen to the Rooster go ir-ir ir-ir IRRRRRRR


Beginning Reading Lesson

By: Charity Glaze




Rationale: This lesson will teach children the r-controlled vowel correspondence ir. An important step in helping children identify and read words is to acquire the building blocks of phoneme awareness and letter recognition so that they can begin using the alphabetic code. In this lesson, students will learn to recognize, practice finding, spelling, and reading words containing the spelling pattern ir. They will learn a meaningful representation (rooster crowing), spell and read words containing this spelling in a letterbox lesson, and read a decodable book that focuses on the r-controlled vowel correspondence ir. 



·      Graphic image of roster calling “ir ir ir”

·       Picture of rooster beak for teacher and individual copies for students

·   Cover up critter

·       Individual letterboxes for teacher and individual students

·      Individual boxes containing letter manipulatives for letterbox lesson

·      Cards containing words: girl, him, bird, swirl, twirl, third, sir, swim, band, zirl

·      List of words to read: stir, mix, first, third, fifth, chirp, tweet, square, circle

·      List of words to spell in letterboxes and read: bird, swirl, twirl, third, sir

·      Document cam available for teacher letterbox display

·      Decodable text: Jess Gets Hurt GenieBooks in PowerPoint (URL below) 

·      Assessment worksheet: (URL below) 


Procedures: 1. Say: Learning to read has long lasting rewards to it. In order to become experts at reading, we need to learn the alphabetic code that helps us distinguish the sounds of the alphabet. The sound of the alphabet is a big part in learning to read because it offers a way to put words together. We have already learned how to read the short vowel sound that /i/ makes like in the word kid. Today we are going to learn about the short i when it is followed by the letter r and together the “i” and “r” makes the ir sound just as a rooster makes. So whenever I say /ir/ think of a rooster cock-a-doodle-dooing [show graphic image]. Now let’s look at the spelling of the short i, /i/, followed by r that we will learn today. We spell this like ir. (write ir and demonstrate how the two letters sound when separated with the cover up critter and the difference the sound makes when they are joined and not separated) when I see i with a r I know it tells me to say ir like a rooster [Write ir on the document cam]. 


2. Say: Before we learn about the spelling /ir/, we need to listen for it in some words. Once again, our goal is to become expert readers and we must first master the sounds of letters in the alphabet before we learn to read those words. To make the ir sound, my tongue raises a bit, not the front nor back but the whole thing. My jaws also raise and my lips pucker. Think of your lips forming to a beak shape like the picture here [show graphic image]. I will model for you first. Show the word: girl. Say: girl. When I said the word girl, I felt my lips pucker like a rooster's beak. [show graphic image of beak]. There is that ir pattern in girl. Now I am going to see if it is in him. Show the word: him Say: him. Nope when I said him my lips did not pucker like a beak even though there was an “i” in that word, it was not followed by “r”. Now you try. If you hear /ir/ say “ir- ir ir- ir irrrrrr” and flap like a rooster. If you don’t hear /ir/ say “No ir.” Is it in stir, mix, first, third, fifth, chirp, tweet, square, circle? [have students hold beak to their mouth when they hear ir in a word and their lips pucker].

Model: I will now model how we read words by first recognizing the vowel part of the word and then locating the part containing the consonant. The sentence that I will write says Kate spilled her juice on her skirt. I will break that word down further by separating the vowel from the consonant. I start with the ir vowel that tells me to crow like a rooster. Next, I put the body sk together with the vowel [ir] and then the consonant [t] to get [sk] [ir] [t]. Is that word squirt? I will reread the sentence and use my context clues to make sure that the word makes sense in this sentence. Kate spilled her juice on her squirt. Ohh! her skirt not her squirt. Kate spilled her juice on her skirt.

3. Say: Now I want all students to get out your letter boxes and your letters. I am going to show you how I would spell the word skirt in a letter box [use document camera]. First, I would stretch out the word slowly and count the number of phonemes or mouth gestures on my fingers. Say: ss-kk-ir-tt. Model:

[s] [k] [ir] [t]


Say: Look! There is my ir that tells me to pucker my lips. As you can see these two letters are in the same boxes because together they make one sound and separated they make two completely different sounds. Let’s try it again but this time I will separate the two letters. Model:

 [s] [k] [i] [r] [t]


Say: See how separated the i and r makes different sounds. That word no longer sounds like skirt, but something like “ski-rut”.


4. Say: Now I will let you have a chance at spelling words in your own letterboxes. I won’t give you a word that requires 4 letterboxes yet so we can start out fairly easy until you get the hang of it. In your letterboxes spell the word stir. Here, I will use it in a sentence first. Stir the cake mix well. Stir means to mix something by making circular movements. [wait to let students spell stir in their letterboxes]. Ok now I will show what I have in my letterboxes on the document camera. I know that I need the letters s, t, i, and r. I will now stretch the word and count on my fingers the number of phonemes I hear. Sss-ttt-ir. This is what I have. Model:

[s] [t] [ir]


Say: I will walk around to check your boxes. Did you remember to put the i and r together to make the ir sound that tells us to pucker our lips like a rooster? Good job! The next word that I am going to give you is first. I will use it in a sentence: Jill did not win first place. You will need four boxes for this one. Let’s all try this one on our own and I will walk around to see that everyone is on the right track. If I give you a thumbs up I want you to try the rest of the words that are here on the list: bird, swirl, twirl, third, sir [place list on document cam and then walk around to scaffold students as they work].


5. Say: Now I am going to let you read the words that you’ve spelled without the letter boxes. [Show the list bird, swirl, twirl, third, sir, “extra words”, swim, band and psuedoword zirl]. Afterwards, call on individuals to read one word on the list until everyone has had a turn.


6. Great job reading those ir words with our new spelling! You are well on your way to becoming expert readers. Now we are going to apply what we learned today to a new book that I will let you all read while I scaffold, or provide help. The title of the book is Jess Gets Hurt.  "Ben has a big ball game.  Jess wants to shop with Mom while Ben plays, but Scat the cat has disappeared. Jess is not watching where she is going as she runs off to find her cat.  Jess . . . watch out! What do you think will happen to Jess? Will she find her cat Scat or will she find more trouble? We are going to read to find out what happens." Say: I want everyone to group with one partner. Each student will take turns reading with your partner while I walk around to make sure that everyone is on track. Make sure that you take your beaks with you. Whenever you hear ir words that tell us to pucker our lips and crow like a rooster, hold up your beaks! After we are done reading, I want you to pair with another partner to discuss the story.

7. For individual assessment distribute “Matching IR Words” worksheet. Say: We are almost finished with our lesson on the ir pattern. Before we are done, I want to see what you have learned from today’s lesson. On the worksheet, I want you to match the printed word on the right to the correct picture on the left. You should draw a line from the word to the correct picture.


Murray, Bruce. "The Reading Genie." The Reading Genie. N.p., n.d <>.


Assessment worksheet: 

Murray, Bruce A. "Chapter 3: How Beginners Develop the Ability to Read Words." Making Sight Words: Teaching Word Recognition from Phoneme Awareness to Fluency: How to Help Children Read Words Effortlessly without Memorization. Ronkonkoma, NY: Linus Publications, 2012. 27-29. Print.


Jess Gets Hurt:

 Murray, Bruce. "GenieBooks in PowerPoint." GenieBooks in PowerPoint. Geri Murray, n.d. Web. 02 July 2014. <>.


 Noie Yancey, Oh, Oh, My Knee Hurts: <>

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