Clapping Syllables

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SWBAT determine 1,2 and 3 syllable words and classify them into groups.

Big Idea

Catch me if you can!

Prepare the Learner

15 minutes

Gingerbread Syllables


This is the 3rd lesson in a series of four.


I show students the picture cards of Cookie Jars with the numbers 1, 2 and 3 on them.  I say: Today we are going to practice counting the parts of words.  Remember, we call these parts ‘syllables.’  Everybody say ‘syllables.’    


I remind students that we count syllables by clapping out the words as we say them.  We practice this often, so by this time of year they are good at it.  We do a few practice words where I clap and kids count my claps.


I say:  Boys and girls, watch as I clap out the word ‘man.’  Ready?   I clap one time and say ‘man.’   Ask: How many syllables?   (1)  Now I want you to clap and I will count.  Ready?   Clap ‘baby.’  (students clap ba-by)  Say: I counted two! 


I continue in this fashion using words from the book: man, woman, baby, cake, gingerbread, swan, Mattie, girl, bakery.


Syllables help students to read and write.  We work a lot with syllables in kindergarten to lay the foundation of chunking words, which is a reading and writing strategy students will use as they get older and become more independent in their literacy.

Interact with text/concept

45 minutes

Syllable Flip Book


We will be making a flip book together.  I begin with the students on the carpet with me and I show them what we will be doing.

I say: Today we will be making a book.  It is a little different than what we are used to seeing.  It is called a flip book.  Everyone say "flip book." (students repeat)  This book opens from the bottom up and only has three pages.  I show students a blank flip book that I have precut from construction paper.

I continue: Each page has its own cover. I point to each of the three 'covers.'  We will be also working on the pages inside on the top and bottom.  I open each page and show the kids the inside of the book and point to the top and bottom portions.

I direct: The first thing we need to do is glue our 'cover' pictures on that tell what each page is for.  Page one is going to be all of our one syllable words.  Page two will be our two syllable words and page three will be our three syllable words.  

I show student the cover pictures of the gingerbread cookies and ask: Which picture should we use for page one, the one syllable words?  (the one gingerbread cookie) Why does that make sense? (because one cookie means one syllable words) I then model gluing the picture with one gingerbread cookie onto the cover of the first page. 

I follow the same pattern for the two and three syllable cover pictures.

I say: Now you are going to go to your desks and cut and glue your cover pictures on just like I did.  I will put my book on the document camera so you can look at it to help you.  Your book should look just like mine.  Any questions?


Students go to their desks and glue the labels for ‘One syllable,’  ‘Two syllables,’ and ‘Three syllables’ on each flip cover.   While they are gluing, I am monitoring and assisting where necessary, although students do not need much assistance.  They can refer to my book as a model and this portion of the lesson moves fairly quickly.




Cutting Pictures

When students are done gluing, I call their attention back to me and my book at the document camera.  I show them the page with the pictures and say: Now we are going to sort our pictures into syllable groups.  What are our groups? (one-two-three syllable groups) First, we need to cut our our pictures.  When you cut, make sure you cut exactly on the lines.  Cut the boxes, not the pictures!  Watch me.  I model as students watch me cut and make a pile of my cut pictures in front of me.

Students catch on quickly, so I model cutting just a few pictures.  This is not something new at this time of year, so I don't spend a lot of time modeling the cutting.  I say: Go ahead and cut out your pictures.  When you are done, throw away your trash and wait quietly for me.



Sorting (We do together)


We sort six of the pictures together as a whole group.  I have my pictures and book on the document camera so that all students can see what I am doing.  I ask: What picture should we start with?  Raise your hand and tell me which one you'd like to clap first.   I take student suggestions.  It does not matter what picture you start with.  The purpose of this portion is to set expectations and model.  

**HINT: I do not like to begin with a one syllable picture, because students will often just glue pictures in order of the pages without paying attention to the syllables.  I will model pictures out of order of syllable count to stress that the need to pay attention to the syllables.

I say: Let's start with BUTTERFLY.  Here is my butterfly picture.  I put it on the document camera.  Let's clap 'butterfly' and see how many syllables it is.  Ready?  We all clap butterfly together and I ask:  How many syllables did we clap?  (three)  If students are struggling with syllable count, I will clap the word and they count my claps.  Although, by this time of year we have practiced this consistently, so most of my students can clap and count at the same time.  

I continue: Three syllables for 'butterfly,' so where should we glue it?  Which page?  (three) Excellent.  Watch me as I glue 'butterfly' under the page with three gingerbread cookies.  I model gluing the picture under the third flip page.  

I direct: Now you glue your butterfly under the three gingerbread cookies just like I did.  I am going to come around and watch.  As students are gluing,  I am walking around to assist and monitor where necessary.  This is my time to offer the 1:1 assistance to those students who need more support.  


I follow this same pattern for several pictures.  I make sure we have at least one picture in each category before I release responsibility to the students to sort on their own.  How many I model really varies with my class.  Some groups need more examples, while others catch on very quickly.  You can modify the modeling to meet the needs of your class!


 Gradual Release of Responsibility (You do together)

 Once  expectations are clear, I have students work in pairs or groups to complete the final six pictures.  They must place them where they think they go without gluing.  After they’ve completed their pair/group sort, they raise their hands and I check their work. 


  If there are some that are incorrect, I prompt: Let's clap this one again.  I'm not sure it has (1-2-3) syllables.  Let's clap it together.  We clap it together and I ask: Where should we put it?  Usually the students will self correct with one redirective, but if not, I stay with that group until they can place the picture correctly.  


I do it this way so that if pictures need to be moved, they can be moved easily without having to rip up the glued picture.


Once all of the pictures are correctly placed, the kids can then glue them on the correct page of the book. 

Extend Understanding

15 minutes

Writing the words


Together, as a group, we write the words to go with each picture on each page.  I move between the document camera and student desks during this portion of the lesson.


I say: Now we are ready to write our words.  Let's cut and glue our writing pages onto the top inner portion of our book.

I model cutting and gluing the  three writing pages.  This is very similar to the cover pages, so students generally do this quickly.


Using our sound spelling cards and knowledge about letter sounds, we write the words letter by letter.  If students cannot tell me a sound, then I help them. 

I say: Boys and girls, let’s write ‘dog.’  How do we write /d/?  (D)  How do we write /o/?  (O)  How do we write /g/?  (G)   D-O-G is dog!  Let’s read the word together.  Ready? /d/-/o/-/g/  dog.   


I follow the same pattern with all words.  


**HINT: This portion of the lesson is time consuming.  I am modeling and practicing with the students how we stretch words and match sounds with symbols(letters).  This is an important standard and skill for kindergarten and it is time well spent!  The three syllable words are cumbersome, so I try to move as quickly as I can through the one and two syllable words so I can spend more time on the three syllable words.



Reading the words

When we are finished with all words, I give the students a few minutes to practice reading the words with a partner.  I assist and monitor where needed.


Here is a completed flip book!