H is for...Word Wheel!

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SWBAT create a word wheel that will enable them to practice /h/ vocabulary reading and picture match.

Big Idea

We use the letter H to read and write.

Prepare the Learner

15 minutes

I always start off my letter/sound instruction by singing two ABC songs.  The first one focuses just on the letters and order of the alphabet.  The second one focuses on the sound of each letter.  I sing these songs every day of the school year.  Even though I have not formally taught every letter and sound at this time of year, the kids quickly learn the songs and they actually recognize many of the letter sounds before I have formally taught them. 


We then review pictures that begin with the sound of H.  I use the same pattern for these pictures every day and with every letter.  You will see this pattern throughout my lessons.  The basic pattern is I say(name of picture), you say(name of picture), we say letter sound three times.  For example, I may begin with the picture of 'house' with the letter H.  I say: house.  Students say: house.  We all say:  /h/ /h/ /h/


Here is a great video that kids will enjoy for words that begin with /h/.




Interact with concept

45 minutes

There are two parts to the word wheel.  The front piece is a helicopter and has a window where the words and pictures show through.  The circular piece has the /h/ words and pictures on it and those show in the windows of the front piece.  The window that reveals the picture has a flap on it so that the students have to try to read the word before they actually know what it is from the picture support.  I love that about these word wheels!


I precut the windows on the front piece.  They are small and tricky, so I do not let students cut them.  It is fairly easy to cut 5 or 6 at a time, so it goes pretty quickly!


I model how to color the helicopter so that students see how to color nicely.  Depending on time, I may or may not have them color the smaller pictures on the circle.  I model how to cut out the helicopter and the circle.  The circle, of course, is very easy to cut.  But the helicopter can be tricky, so I make sure the kids know where to cut.  After they color and cut, the students raise their hands and I come and put a brad in the middle to attach the front and back pieces. 


As they finish, students can sit with a partner on the floor and practice reading the word wheel. They can then take them home and try to read each of the /h/ words!


As students are reading with a partner, I monitor and assist.  If students are having trouble with the picture name in English, which mine often do because of their limited English, I will tell them the name of the picture and then the students touch the word and repeat it.  I do this so they develop the idea that the written word matches what they are saying.  They are also building a vocabulary bank by practicing vocabulary for the letter with direct picture/print correlation.

Extend Understanding

20 minutes



Students rotate through the centers, going to one per day.  I have a centers chart where they find their name daily and what center they are assigned to for that day. My centers are designed to address skills that students need, be it fine motor, gross motor or academic. 


1. Word Work- Sight word “have”- Students trace, write, order letters and copy a sentence for the word “have”

2. Pocket Chart- sort pictures by initial sound for /h/, /m/ and /f/.  This is the first time they’ve done three categories, but they generally do not struggle with the heightened complexity of moving from 2 to 3 groups.

3. Math- floor puzzle that, when complete, has the numbers in order from 1-20. 

4. Computer- students can listen to /h/ pictures and a story on starfall.com