Getting to Know Letters (Part 2) | EL Education Curriculum

You are here

ELA GK:S1:C3:L17

Getting to Know Letters (Part 2)

You are here:

Daily Learning Target

  • Opening A: I can search for letters in a familiar text (poem): “c” and “n.” (RF.K.1)
    • I can identify the name of each lowercase letter.
    • I can identify the name of each uppercase letter.
  • Opening B: I can identify the name and sound for the letters “c” and “n.” (RF.K.3)
    • I can identify the name of each uppercase letter.
    • I can look at each consonant and say its sound.
  • Work Time A: I can follow directions for writing letters “c” and “n.” (L.K.1)
    • I can print many uppercase letters.
    • I can print many lowercase letters.

Ongoing Assessment

  • Observe students during Opening. Determine whether they can identify the letters “c” and “n” in the shared text.
  • Observe students during Work Time to notice preferred grip during letter formation and correct as necessary.
  • Record students’ progress on the Snapshot Assessment.

Agenda

Agenda

1. Opening (5 minutes)

A. Poem Letter Search: “c” and “n”

B. Letter-Sound Chant: “c” and “n”

2. Work Time (10–15 minutes)

A. Getting to Know the Letter (Part 2): “c” and “n”

3. Closing and Assessment (2 minutes)

A. Reflecting on Learning

4. Differentiated Small Group Instruction and Rotations (40-45 minutes)

In Advance

  • Post the enlarged poem: “My Cat, Noodles” (from Lesson 16).
  • Review the Letter Formation Guidance document (see K–2 Skills Resource Manual).
  • Copy the “c” and “n” handwriting papers.
  • Prepare the Snapshot Assessment (optional; one per student).
  • Draw three horizontal lines on the board (two solid lines with a dotted line in the middle for letter formation demonstration).

Vocabulary

Key: Lesson-Specific Vocabulary (L); Text-Specific Vocabulary (T)

  • keyword (L)

Materials

  • Enlarged poem: “My Cat, Noodles” (to display; from Lesson 16)
  • Large pointer (optional; for teacher to point to words in poem as the class recites)
  • Keyword Picture Cards: “c” and “n” (one of each for teacher to display; from Lesson 16)
  • Highlighter, highlighter tape, or Wikki Stix (one for teacher to circle the letter in poem)
  • Poetry notebooks (from Lesson 16)
  • Poem: “My Cat, Noodles” (one per student in their poetry notebooks; from Lesson 16)
  • Writing utensil (optional; for students to circle the letters in their poetry notebooks or on their loose copies of the poem; one per student)
  • Letter Demonstration Board (one for teacher)
  • Letter Formation Guidance document (standalone document for teacher reference; see K–2 Skills Resource Manual)
  • “c” and “n” handwriting papers (one per student)
  • Snapshot Assessment (optional; one per student)

Opening

OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Poem Letter Search: “c” and “n”

  • (Suggested transition song, sung to the tune of “I’m a Little Teapot”):

“Now let’s read the poem, line by line. Letters make words and words make rhymes. We will search for letters, short and tall. Search them out and have a ball!”

  • Introduce the Poem Letter Search instructional practice:

1. Teacher reads Enlarged poem: “My Cat, Noodles” aloud once, pointing to each word as it is read (with a finger or a pointer).

2. Students chorally read the poem once or twice.

3. Teacher says: “We learned the story of two letters in our last lesson: ‘c’ and ‘n.’ We are going to look really closely at the words in this poem and search for those letters. I’ll show you.”

4. Teacher displays Keyword Picture Cards: “c” and “n.”

5. Teacher curls her hands around her eyes like binoculars or pretends to use a magnifying glass to look closely at the words of the poem. Teacher encourages students to do the same.

6. Teacher says: “Look! I found a ‘c’! I am going to circle the word with my highlighter.”

7. Teacher says: “The letter ‘c’ starts the word ‘cat.’ I can hear the /k/ sound at the beginning of the word ‘cat.’”

8. Students circle the letter in their poetry notebooks or copies of the poem: “My Cat, Noodles” with a writing utensil, if using.

9. Repeat steps 4–8 a few more times with the same letter.

10. Repeat steps 4–8 a few times with “n.” Review by finding letters “a,” “t,” “p,” and “h” from previous cycles, if time allows.

11. Teacher says: “Today, we searched in the poem for letters we know. In the next lesson, we will search for special words called high-frequency words. That means authors use them all the time in their writing. We are going to figure out which high-frequency words the author used in this poem. Right now, it’s a mystery. I wonder which word it could be. We’ll find out soon!”

  • To provide support or practice with left-to-right directionality and one-to-one matching, consider inviting individual students to approach the enlarged poem and point to the words as the class chorally recites.
  • If students have their own copy of the poem and have trouble finding the letter, consider partnering them with a friend who can help them locate the letter.
  • Support students’ developing skill of connecting the phoneme (sound) to grapheme (letter) by repeating each word containing the letters being searched, emphasizing the letter’s sound in the word. Example:
    • “Right, you found another ‘n’ in the word ‘Noodles.’ ‘/n/oodles.’”

B. Letter-Sound Chant: “c” and “n”

  • (Suggested transition song, sung to the tune of “I’m a Little Teapot”):

“Now let’s say the alphabet, letter by letter. Here is the letter, here is the sound. When we chant together, we sound great. Listen up to the sounds we make!”

  • Begin the Letter-Sound Chant instructional practice:

1. Teacher says: “Let’s say our letter-sound chant to help us remember those keywords we learned.”

2. Teacher asks:

“Who remembers what a keyword does?” (unlocks sound for the letter)

3. Teacher says: “That’s right! Our keywords in the chant are our keys to unlock the sounds for each letter. Let’s go!”

4. Teacher models the Letter-Sound Chant for “c”: “‘c,’ cat, /k/,” and repeats.

5. Teacher asks students to join in the Letter-Sound Chant for “c”: “‘c,’ cat, /k/,” and repeats.

6. Repeat steps 4–5 with “n.”

7. Teacher says: “Great job! Knowing the sounds for letters helps us become better readers.”

  • Remind students that the /n/ sound stops with the tongue touching the roof of the mouth, just behind the teeth, and does not include the “uh” that many students add to the sound.
  • Remind students that the /k/ sound stops with the strong puff of air pushed out by the tongue’s position on the soft palate and does not include the “uh” that many students add to the sound.

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Getting to Know Letters (Part 2): “c” and “n”

(Suggested transition song, sung to the tune of “I’m a Little Teapot”):

“Now we’ll write a letter, line by line. Get your hand ready to start on time. When we write a letter, we start on top. Pull down until it’s time to stop.”

  • Begin the Getting to Know Letters (Part 2) instructional practice:

1. Teacher says: “We learned some of the story of the letters ‘c’ and ‘n’ yesterday. We learned the names, sounds, and keywords.” (Display Keyword Picture Cards: “c” and “n.”) “Today, we’re going to learn how to write these letters.”

2. Teacher reviews letter sounds from Lesson 16.

3. Teacher selects sound for review: /k/.

4. Teacher says: “Now I will say the sound and skywrite the letter ‘c,’ and then you can do the same.”

5. Students echo the sound and say the letter while skywriting: /k/.

6. Teacher says: “It’s time to follow along as I write this letter.”

7. Teacher chooses a volunteer to come up to the board to write the letter.

8. Teacher directs students in proper letter formation with directions (referring to the standalone Letter Formation Guidance document).

Example:

    • “c” is a belly line letter. It starts on the belly line.
    • Point to the belly line.
    • Pull up just a bit and back around to the left.
    • Curve down around and touch on the feet line and curve around back up.
    • Teacher says: “‘c,’ cat, /k/.”
    • Students repeat: “‘c,’ cat, /k/.”

9. Students write the letter on their “c” handwriting paper. Teacher directs students with letter formation guidance.

10. Teacher circulates to assist students as needed, checking for proper grip.

11. Students repeat letter formation twice more.

12. Repeat steps 2–11 with uppercase “c” and upper- and lowercase “n” using the “n” handwriting paper.

13. Teacher says: “Great job writing the letters ‘c’ and ‘n.’ Remember, to make the letter ‘c,’ (repeat letter formation directions). And when we make the letter ‘n,’ (repeat letter formation directions).”

  • Support students’ understanding of left-to-right directionality with large, clear illustration of letter formation.
  • Consider encouraging students to point to the body parts used in letter formation guidance (head, belly, feet) to support spatial and kinesthetic knowledge connection.

Closing & Assessments

ClosingMeeting Students' Needs

A. Reflecting on Learning

  • Emphasize that successful learners think about what they’ve learned and why it’s important. Consider using a metaphor, such as a baseball player learning to keep his or her eye on the ball to know exactly when to hit it.
  • Ask:

“When we write the letter ‘n,’ how can we remember where to start?” (Start at the belly line.)

“How will that help us with writing?” (Responses will vary.)

  • For students who need additional support organizing their ideas: Provide sentence frames. Examples:
    • “When I write the letter ‘n,’ I _____.”
    • “When I see the letter ‘c,’ I know it says _____.”

Differentiated Small Groups: Work with Teacher

Suggested Plan: Teacher works with the Pre-Alphabetic and Early Partial Alphabetic groups. Teacher may meet briefly with the Late Partial and Early Full Alphabetic groups to get them started on independent work.

Note: Groups not working with the teacher at a given time should be engaged in purposeful independent rotation work. Refer to the Independent and Small Group Work guidance document (see K–2 Skills Resource Manual) for more details.

Pre-Alphabetic:

  • Practice activity: Teacher guides students as they practice letter formation for letters “c” and “n,” using “c” and “n” handwriting papers from the lesson.
    • Refer to the Letter Formation Guidance document (see K–2 Skills Resource Manual) as needed.
    • Continue to observe grip as students write letters.
    • Some students in this phase may need to work with forming straight and curved lines before continuing practice with letter formation.
    • If students need additional practice, consider providing a variety of materials for writing, such as sand trays, bags of shaving cream, etc.
  • Consider also reading the Letter Stories: “c” or “n,” found in the Learning Letters Book. After reading the story, practice skywriting the letter.

Early Partial Alphabetic:

  • Practice activity: Teacher guides students as they practice letter formation for letters “c” and “n,” using “c” and “n” handwriting papers from the lesson.
    • Refer to the Letter Formation Guidance document (see K–2 Resource Manual) as needed.
    • Continue to observe grip as students write letters.
    • Some students in this phase may need to work with forming straight and curved lines before continuing practice with letter formation.
    • If students need additional practice, consider providing a variety of materials for writing such as sand trays, bags of shaving cream, etc.
  • Consider also reading the Letter Stories: “c” or “n,” found in the Learning Letters Book. After reading the story, practice skywriting the letter.

Late Partial and Early Full Alphabetic:

  • Practice activity: Teacher guides students as they practice letter formation for letters “c” and “n,” using “c” and “n” handwriting papers from the lesson.
    • Refer to the Letter Formation Guidance document (see K–2 Resource Manual) as needed.
    • Continue to observe grip as students write letters.
    • Some students in this phase may need to work with forming straight and curved lines before continuing practice with letter formation.
    • If students need additional practice, consider providing a variety of materials for writing such as sand trays, bags of shaving cream, etc.
  • Consider also reading the Letter Stories: “c” or “n,” found in the Kindergarten Appendix. After reading the story, practice skywriting the letter.

Get updates about our new K-5 curriculum as new materials and tools debut.

Sign Up