Each child is given a ball of gingerbread scented modeling dough and a worksheet with the letter Gg printed on it. I like to give my students opportunities to use as many senses as possible when I teach a lesson. It allows for them to have a variety of ways to internalize the subject matter. I model for the children how to take a portion of the dough and roll it into a "snake". I then show the class how to take the snake shape and place it on the capital letter G to form the shape of the G. I emphasize that the dough "snake" must begin at the top and work its way down. I model how to form the lowercase g, too, and have the children follow my actions. As the children copy my activity, I tell them that in the story I am reading today, the letter Gg has a different sound. I ask the class to tell me the sound that they most frequently hear when we see Gg. Then I write the word gingerbread on the board and underline the g's. I ask the children what sound do they hear when I say the beginning sound. I give the children a few more minutes to investigate the dough and then have my supply captain collect it as the class joins me on the rug.
Boys and girls, while you were at lunch, I put some materials on your tables. You should see a ball of dough and a worksheet with the letter Gg on it. We are going to practice modeling Gg's from our dough. To do that, we will roll the dough back and forth until it becomes a long "snake". At one end of your "snake" put two eyes for his head. When I ask you to start at the top, I want you to put the head of your snake at the top. You will wind the rest of his body around the Capital letter G. Let me take a look at what you have made. It looks like everyone is all set, so let's try lowercase g. Point to that letter so that I know you are with me. You will start by putting the snake's head at the 2:00 position on the circling part of the lowercase g and move his body upward and around. Try this a few more times on your own.
The story that I will be reading to you has the letter g in it, but the g will not make it's usual sound. What sound have we been practicing? (Hard G sound). This g will have a softer sound. Do you see this word, gingerbread, that I have written on the board? Listen as I point to the letters. What sound did you hear when I said the g's? We will be looking at that some more in a few minutes but you make take five to enjoy the smell and the feel of the "gingerbread" dough.
Today, the book that I am reading to the class is by our Author of the Month. Who remembers her name? The Gingerbread Baby, is a Jan Brett story. Do you remember something special about her way of illustrating, or about her pages? The pages contain clues to what will happen next. Being careful listeners can also give you clues to what will happen in the story, too. Look at the title. Who can tell me the sound at the beginning of gingerbread?
As I read the story through, I will ask you some questions about the story. Try to remember your answers because you will need to listen and remember when we play a game.
We play a game similar to "Simon Says", so that I can emphasize how important it is to listen carefully to do their work properly. Here are some examples:
1. If Matti made the Gingerbread Baby, hop on one foot.
2. If the Gingerbread Baby was eaten by a fox, sit down.
3. If Matti ate the Gingerbread Baby, clap your hands.
4. If the Gingerbread Baby, lived in a Gingerbread House, touch your toes.
To play the game, we will be listening to some statements about the story of The Gingerbread Baby. If the statement is true, you will do the motion that I say, but if it is not true, stand still. This game is a lot like "Simon Says".
I can glean a lot from an activity like this. I can see who listened carefully to the story, or who is copying their neighbor. I can see the gross motor abilities of my students. I can see who is paying attention now or even who thinks it is too embarrassing to participate.
Now it is time for you to go back to your seats to participate in another listening activity. Each of you gets a blank picture of the Gingerbread Baby. It is very important that you listen to my directions to complete this page. Using the glyph directions, I will read each step for drawing. You will need to listen carefully so that you choose the right color of crayon and use it the correct area.
I can tell which children have listened carefully by the colors that they choose. This will drive my instruction to continue to work on the children's listening skills.
As far as assessing the letter Gg's sounds, there are many types of worksheets that you can use to determine if the children know the difference in sounds. At my school, the grade level paraprofessional and I divide the class up to do weekly one-on-one assessments of the students letter/sound identification. We will show the child a letter card, and then the child needs to tell us the sound(s) that the letters make. Each child has an assessment page on which we mark the results.