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

You are here

ELA GK:S2:C9:L47

Getting to Know Letters (Part 2)

You are here:

Daily Learning Targets

  • Opening A: I can follow along in a shared text (poem).
    • I can point to the first word in a sentence.
    • I can point to the last word in a sentence.
    • I can point to words in a text.
    • I can move my finger under words as I read them on a page, left to right and top to bottom.
  • Opening B: I can search for letters in a familiar text (poem): "u," "q," and "x." (RF.K.1)
    • I can identify the name of each uppercase letter.
    • I can look at each consonant and say its sound.
    • I can identify the short vowel sound for every vowel letter.
  • Work Time A: I can follow directions for writing letters "u," "q," and "x." (L.K.1)
    • I can print many uppercase letters.
    • I can print many lowercase letters.

Ongoing Assessment

  • Observe students during the Opening. Determine whether they can identify the letters "u," "q," and "x" 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 Launch: "A Fox and a Quail in the Rain"

B. Poem Letter Search: "u," "q," and "x"

2. Work Time (10-15 minutes)

A. Getting to Know Letters (Part 2): "u," "q," and "x"

3. Closing and Assessment (2 minutes)

A. Reflecting on Learning

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

In Advance

  • Post enlarged poem: "A Fox and a Quail in the Rain" (see supporting materials).
  • Review Letter Formation Guidance document (see K-2 Skills Resource Manual).
  • Copy the "u," "q," and "x" handwriting papers.
  • Prepare 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)
  • in quite a fix (T)

Materials

  • Enlarged poem: "A Fox and a Quail in the Rain" (one to display; in supporting materials)
  • Keyword Picture Cards: "u," "q," and "x" (one of each for teacher to display; from Lesson 46)
  • Poetry notebooks (one per student)
  • Poem: "A Fox and a Quail in the Rain" (one per student in their poetry notebooks)
  • Highlighter, highlighter tape, or Wikki Stix (one for teacher to circle the letters in poem)
  • Writing utensil (optional; for students to circle the letters in their poetry notebooks or on their loose copies of the poem; one per student)
  • Index cards with the words: "quiet," "quail," "quarter," "quite," "quick," and "queen"
  • Letter Formation Guidance document (standalone document for teacher reference; see K-2 Skills Resource Manual)
  • "u," "q," and "x" handwriting papers (one per student)
  • Large pointer (optional; for teacher to point to words in poem as the class recites)
  • Snapshot Assessment (optional; one per student)

Opening

OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Poem Launch: "A Fox and a Quail in the Rain"

  • (Suggested transition song, sung to the tune of "I'm a Little Teapot"):

"Now let's read the poem, line by line. Open up your ears to find the rhyme. When we read together, we sound great. Listen up to the rhymes we make."

  • Display Enlarged poem: "A Fox and a Quail in the Rain."
  • Begin the Poem Launch instructional practice:

1. Teacher invites three students to hold the Keyword Picture Cards: "u," "q," and "x."

2. Teacher says: "Listen closely as I read this poem. Touch your nose if you hear anything about our umbrella, quail, or fox. Each of our volunteers will hold up their Keyword Picture Card when they hear their character mentioned."

3. Teacher reads the enlarged poem once or twice with expression, making movements that illustrate the actions in the poem (examples: sitting, nervously looking down, climbing up a tree, chatting).

4. Teacher asks:

"Why are the /kw/-ail and the fo-/ks/ sitting /u/-nder the /u/-mbrella?" (It is raining.)

"Why were they in '/kw/-ite a fi-/ks/'?" (The water was rising.)

"What did they do to keep safe?" (climbed up into a tree)

"Who did they meet there?" (a queen)

5. Teacher says: "Now let's learn the poem. I'll say the first line and make movements that show the actions in the poem, and you'll repeat. We'll do that for each line in the poem."

6. Teacher and students recite the poem aloud together one or two more times, making movements that illustrate the actions in the poem.

  • In step 4, when asking questions, draw students' attention to the new phonemes (/u/, /kw/, and /ks/) by emphasizing the beginning sounds in the words "quail," "under," "umbrella," and "quite." Emphasize the /ks/ sound at the end of the words "fox" and "fix."
  • Acting out the actions in the poem not only engages students and facilitates memorization but also develops vocabulary and comprehension.
  • If students have their own copies of the poem and have trouble finding the letter, consider partnering them with a friend who can help them locate the letter.
  • Consider inviting individual students to come up and circle or highlight the letter(s) they find on the enlarged poem.
  • As students identify words beginning with "q," they may notice that in each of those words, the "q" is followed by a "u." Explain that the letter "q" is almost always followed by the letter "u." The "q" and "u" are "stuck like glue."

B. Poem Letter Search: "u," "q," and "x"

  • (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!"

  • Consider distributing poetry notebooks or student copies of the poem: "A Fox and a Quail in the Rain" to individuals or partners. If not, invite them to watch carefully as you point and read each word on the enlarged poem.
  • Begin the Poem Letter Search instructional practice:

1. Teacher and students recite the poem, pointing to each word as they read it. During the shared reading of the poem, teacher asks students to point to the first word in each line and then the last word in each line.

2. Teacher displays the Keyword Picture Cards: "u," "q," and "x."

3. Teacher models searching for a word that starts with "u."

4. Teacher circles the letter in the enlarged poem with a highlighter.

5. Teacher says: "The letter 'u' starts the word 'under.' I can hear the /u/ sound at the beginning of the word 'under.'"

6. Students circle the letter in their own copies of the poem with writing utensils, if using.

7. Repeat steps 3-6 a few more times with the same letter.

8. Repeat steps 3-6 a few times with remaining letters: "q" and "x." Review letters from previous cycles, if time allows.

9. Teacher displays the "q" words from the poem on index cards.

10. Teacher invites students to share what they notice about the beginning of each of those words. ("q" is followed by "u.")

11. Teacher explains that the "q" is always followed by a "u." The "q" and "u" are "stuck like glue."

12. 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!"

  • As students find the letter "x" in words in the poem, they may notice that it is located at the end of those words. Explain that there are only a few words that begin with "x" (example: "xylophone") and that the sound is a little different in those words.
  • Support students' developing skill of connecting the phoneme (sound) to the grapheme (letter) by repeating each word containing the letters being searched, emphasizing the letter's sound in the word. Example:
    • Right, you found another 'q' in the word 'quite' (/kw/-ite)."

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Getting to Know Letters (Part 2): "u," "q," and "x"

  • (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 reviews letter sounds from Lesson 46.

2. Teacher selects sound for review: /u/.

3. Teacher says the name and sound of the letter: "'u,' /u/."

4. Teacher skywrites the letter while echoing the sound: /u/.

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

6. Teacher invites students to follow along while writing the letters on the board.

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

Example:

      • "u" is a belly line letter. It starts on the belly line.
      • Point to the belly line.
      • Pull down to the tail line.
      • Curve and go straight back up to the belly line.
      • Teacher says: "'u,' umbrella, /u/."
      • Students repeat: "'u,' umbrella, /u/."

8. Students write the letter on their copies of the "u" handwriting paper. Teacher directs students with letter formation guidance for lowercase "u."

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

10. Students repeat letter formation two more times.

11. Repeat steps 2-10 with uppercase "u" and upper- and lowercase "q" and "x" using the appropriate handwriting papers.

12. Teacher says: "Great job writing the letters 'u,' 'q,' and 'x.' Remember, to make the letter 'u,' (repeat letter formation directions). And when we make the letter 'q,' (repeat letter formation directions). And when we make the letter 'x,' (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, and 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 'q,' 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 'q,' I _____."
    • "When I see the letter 'u,' 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 "u" and "q," and "x" using 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: "q" or "x," found in the Learning Letters Book. After reading the story, practice skywriting the letter.

Early Partial Alphabetic:

  • Practice activity: Students practice letter formation for "u," "q," and "x" using 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.
  • Consider also reading the Letter Stories: "q" or "x," found in the Learning Letters Book. After reading the story, practice skywriting the letter.

Late Partial and Early Full Alphabetic:

  • Practice activity: Students practice letter formation for "u," "q," and "x" using 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.

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

Sign Up