In today's lesson I will be reviewing the letters and sounds of the alphabet with my students. I am expecting to have all my students watching the video, singing and using the hand motions. Many of my ELL students have difficulty recognizing their names. Most of them point to a letter and say; "that is my name.". This is a hard concept for them to learn the difference between letters and words. Today's lesson is laying the basic foundation for reading and writing. All future lessons will be based on my students knowing the relationship between letters, the sounds that they make and that letters make up words. Identifying their name is complicated by other students having the same name or names beginning with the same initial letter. I will read the book, "From Anne to Zach" which is about letters and children's names. We will close the lesson with my students verbally saying, "My name is ___."and writing a sentence with their name in it.
My students are seated on the carpet ready for the reading lesson. I have their name cards placed in a pocket chart.
"Let's begin our lesson singing and learning about letters and the sounds that they make. Is everyone sitting criss cross applesauce, ready?"
Our district is using the Alphafriends as part of our reading curriculum. I show these two videos to teach the letter names and sounds. The first video is a video from YouTube and is a teacher showing the Alphafriends letter card while singing and acting out the sound of each letter. Once we learn the "moves" we will just use the second website which is a slideshow of the letter cards with a chant of the letters and sounds.
"You are all learning the letters and sounds really quickly. I love to sing about the letters. Now let's talk about letters and what we do with them. Will you look at the cards in this pocket chart? I see cards with letters on them. Hmmm, did you know that when you put letters together they make words? I think these cards are very special words. Does anyone know what they are? Yes! Roselyne, these words are names, your names. Did you see your name on a card? You are so smart."
I take out Roselyne's name card and show it to the class.
"Look at her name card. Is her name short or long? It is long because it has so many letters in it. We use the letters to write her name and then we use the letter sounds to say her name. Who can look at the first letter of her name and tell me what it is? Yes an "R". What sound does the "R" make? /r/, like Reggie Rooster. I want to read to you a fun book with letters and children's names. All the children do fun things that begin with the same letter and sound as their names."
"The book I am excited to read to you is, So Many Bunnies. I want you to listen to all the letters and see if you can find the first letter in your name. Ready, I need your eyes and ears. I begin to read the story."
Some students know the letters in their names and will say, that is my name or that is my letter as I read.
"See the letter A? The Bunny's name on this page begins with and "A". Does anyone have the letter as the first letter in their name? Allisson, you are right. A your name is Allisson."
"Now it is the letter B. Does anyone have a name that begins with the letter B? No one is our class has a name that begins with the letter B."
I go through the story and discuss with them each letter and who's name begins with that letter.
"That was a lot of letters. All our names begin with letters that are in the alphabet. Letters make up words and our names are words. That is so much fun."
"I want to play a name game with you. Will you sit in a huge circle around the outside of the carpet."
My carpet is rectangular so my circle ends up being rectangular in shape. I gather the students in a large circle. We sit and I explain my rules for "Pass the Pig".
"The game I like to play is "pass the pig". We will be passing this cute little toy pig around the circle. When you are holding the pig you can talk, when you are not holding the pig, you must hold a bubble in your mouths. The sentence frame is “My name is _____.” So when it is your turn to hold the pig I want you to say, "My name is ____." I will go first to show you how to play. Please speak as loud as you can so we can all hear your name."
I use sentence frames all day, every day. I am teaching my students how to speak English using proper sentence grammar. I am also making it easier for them to express themselves. Expecting a full sentence including a correct answer is difficult at five years old. I give them the frame to which they can simply insert one word. This makes the task less daunting.
I say, My name is Mrs. Adams and pass the pig to the friend next to me. I have to prompt many students to pass the pig, to hold a bubble or to use the sentence frame. When all students have had the opportunity to say their name, we do a class cheer because we are so smart!
"Look at the pocket chart full of your name cards. I will call your name and you can come up and find your name."
I draw name sticks for each student to take a turn and find their name card on the pocket chart. I have to help many students find their names. When everyone has their name card we do another class cheer.
"Now that you have found your name cards, you will write your name in a sentence and draw a picture of yourself. I will model the writing under the document camera so you know how to do the writing activity. The sentence frame is the same one we used for our "pass the pig" game; My name is ______. I am going to write my name on the line. What are you going to write on the line? Your name. You have your name cards and can use them to copy your name. What will go up here on the top of the page? Yes a picture of you. I will come around and help you with your names. This will be so fun"
I dismiss my students one row at a time to help maintain a sense of orderliness in my class. I also have my class helpers pass out the writing papers. I walk around and highlight many names for students to trace.
When students finish their sentence and drawings I send them to read library books quietly on the carpet until others have finished.
When all my students are finished writing their sentence and drawing their pictures, we gather back on the carpet for oral presentation. I begin the first day of school with my students standing up in front of the class to orally present their writing and drawings. Later they will be reading their sentences. This is an important part of the writing process, being able to read what they wrote. It can be scary getting up in front of the class, so I do it every day, everyone. Each student is given the opportunity to present their work to the class. We applaud and do a cheer after each presentation.