C is a fairly difficult letter for Kindergarteners to grasp; however, it is important that they learn the proper sound. Since C and K make the same sound, it is crucial that students know the way to enunciate and form the /c/ sound correctly.
/C/ is a hard sound for one main, complicated reason- students hear the /s/ sound at the beginning of the letter name C, and therefore tend to sometimes associate the sound /s/ with C.
When students are unsure of the sound that c makes, they tend to have trouble decoding words when reading and writing. Therefore, it is important that we have students practice seeing C and making the /c/ sound to build students' fluency with it!
I like to introduce difficult letter sounds like this in the whole group; I do this because I like to explicitly teach strategies ahead of time that will help prevent learning misconceptions. For example (as you can see in my attachment), with the /c/ sound, I like to go ahead and remind students from the start that C does not say /s/ because of its' letter name, it says /c/. When students are in the whole group for this, I am sure that everyone has heard me and I also have a chance to listen to students teach each other. In the end, students will be able to participate in independent and/or guided practice after this introductory lesson.
"Today, we are going to learn about the letter C! What letter are we going to learn about?"
(Students will say, "We are going to learn about the letter C!")
"Great job, everyone! C... C is for cooperating, coolers and cops! So many words start with C! It is important to remember that, most of the time, C says /c/... almost always, c says /c/... so when we are sounding out words, this is what we need to remember!"
"Now that we know the sound that C makes most of the time, I think we should practice a little! But first, do we have anyone in here whose name has a C in it? I bet we have a few!" *Wait time*
(Students will share responses.)
"Yes, you are correct! Nice work! Now, let's learn a little more about this letter C and the sound that it makes in words!"
I Do 1:
I will show the students how to make the /c/ sound. I will show them how my mouth is formed and I will even let them watch me make the /c/ sound in a small, hand-held mirror. I will talk to the students about /c/ being a closed and close- "you make it with your mouth mostly closed, and it stops- it is not a continuous sound- it is quick."
You Do 1:
I will have students use their own hand-held mirror and practice making the sound for /c/. As they do that, I will remind them that "/c/ is made when your moth is mostly closed and you push air out between your teeth. Your tongue doesn't really move when you make the /c/ sound, and your teeth and lips do not really move either... now try it again!"
I Do 2:
I will talk to students about some words in our class that begin with a and some popular words that they would all be familiar with.
"Now, we are going to watch a video about the letter C and I want you to listen. When you hear a word that starts with /c/, find the C on the video and point to it! Now, there will be a lot of words that begin with c, but I want you to point to the /c/ at the beginning of the words and trace it in the air as you say the word." (This builds fine motor skills and students' formation skills as well.)
"Are you ready?"
(Students will say yes)
"Let's practice a few times. If I say a word that begins with /c/, point to me... Here we go:
best, coaster, stick, candy, crow, after, cones, still, stuck... Wow, most of you did a great job! I think I tricked some of you with my words that ended with C! Well, let's watch the video and keep up the good pointing!"
You Do 2:
Students will watch the C video. It is super fun and catchy and students will sing along to the video and enjoy it. After the video, I will ask students to help me make a list of words that begin with /c/ and we will create a reference chart to use throughout the week.
*IMPORTANT: this video does cover the /s/ sound that C can make. For this lesson, I like to stop the video at 1:20 because that is when the /s/ part begins. I like to re-start the video at 2:24 because that's where students can begin tracing the capital and lower-case c's. Now, I like to save the middle part of this video for extension and differentiation, so I make sure not to forget about it!
I think it is important that students practice with c as much as possible; after all, it does build the foundation for K and help differentiate from S. With that being said, here are some things I will do throughout the week when we focus on the phonemic awareness and phonics skills for the letter C! When students are allowed to practice on their own, they have to take charge and own their learning.
I will give students a poem with many C words in it and have them find all of the c's; then, we will practice reading it together for fluency.
I like to provide students with a letter C book, like this one or this one, that they can look at and read to their friends or their parents for fluency practice. I might also have students find the words with the initial /c/ sound while they are reading aloud- I can used this as an assessment.
Students will complete a C and S sort. I will assess their papers for correct sorting. Also, this sort can help me determine who may or may not need re-teaching.
Students will practice finding C's around the school (in the halls, on bulletin boards, etc). This helps me informally assess students' conceptual understanding.
Students will practice making C's (while they trace or write it, they will say, /c/, /c/, /c/). I can use this letter formation practice as an assessment for handwriting.
Here is a link to some cool letter formation videos I use on TeachersPayTeachers.
If students are able to do most of these activities with correctness, I will be able to determine that they have successfully comprehended the lesson.
On the last day of the C week, we go back over our C video and review our list of C words. We also take about two minutes and hold the small, hand-held mirrors for a partner and make sure they are correctly enunciating the /c/ sound. We go back over how to make the /c/ sound properly as the final activity. Then, I will tell the students that next week will bring us a new focus sound!
EXTRA FUN!!! To add to the summary for the week of C, I bring in a cooler with little treats inside of it- coke, candy corn, cream (CoolWhip), Craisins, cake, etc. and I let each student have one little bit of each! I also have the police officers bring their cars by- this connects to C because they drive a cruiser and people like to call them "cops." (Also, I can cross-curricularly attach this to our safety unit.) The officers let each child slide through the cruisers- this is a great time to capture a picture for their parents!
Help: I like to have my students really work on cleaning this week, since cleaning begins with C! Students can clean out their pencil baskets, their backpacks, their center buckets, etc. to help me out!
Also, we usually always do a main writing piece with the letter C.
Every year so far, I have had my students write about how we can cooperate with each other; however, students could write about a multitude of things that being with c because the writing opportunities are endless!
In addition, we hang our C letter card up on the wall. That way, we can use it for our daily letter-sound practice! From then on, /c/ will be part of our regular practice!
Finally, I like to have students do some practice with the /c/ sound and letter C's formation in centers. After all, practice makes perfect! Attached are some fun letter C center activities that I like to use.