David at the Disco!

Emergent Literacy
Kayla Wesley

Rationale: This lesson is designed to help students identify the phoneme represented by D, /d/. Students will see the letter symbol, D, represented in a memorable, meaningful way (dribbling basketball). They will also distinguish the /d/ phoneme in spoken words, be able to pick out the letter symbol in written words by phonetic cue reading, as well as identify objects that begin with the /d/.


·         Primary Paper with Pencil

·         Hand mirrors

·         Chart with: David danced and drummed at the disco!

·         Phoneme picture of D represented by dribbling basketball (included at end).

·         Index cards with: DOG, DAY, FOOD, DAD, GOOSE

·         Assessment worksheet for identifying objects that begin with /d/ (URL at end).


1.      Introduce the lesson by making a Dd on the board. Ask if any students already know what this letter is or what sound it makes. Say, "D is how you spell /d/, and when we say /d/ our tongue is on the roof of our mouth right behind our teeth and our lips are open a little bit. Then, we push the air out." Pass our hand mirrors for students to watch their mouths as they say /d/.

2.      Next, show students the picture of dribbling /d/. Have students stand up and practice dribbling their basketball while saying /d/, /d/, /d/. Do you feel your tongue behind your teeth? Are you pushing the air out?

3.      Now say, "Let me show you how to find /d/ in the word sad. I'm going to stretch out sad in slow motion so that we can listen for dribbling /d/. Sssss-aaaaa-ddddd. OH! There it was. I felt my mouth make /d/ in sad!"

4.      We're going to do a tongue twister. We're going to say, "David danced and drummed at the disco!" Let's say it three times together. Okay, now I want you to say the /d/ very slow at the beginning of the words. DDDDDavid dddddrummed and ddddddanced at the dddddisco!

5.      Have students get out primary paper and pencil. Tell them to spell /d/, we use the letter Dd. To make big D, we start at the roof and come all the way down to the sidewalk. Then, we make an outwards curve from the roof to the sidewalk (model the process as students do what you do). To make little d, we make a little c from the fence to the sidewalk, then make a line from the roof to the sidewalk. After modeling, have students practice making Dd several times on their own.

6.      Next, tell students that you are going to read them some words. Have students pretend to dribble when they hear /d/ in the word. Say, "Do you hear /d/ in DIG or BURY? HAPPY or SAD? FED or HUNGRY? DAY or NIGHT? How about in DAVID DANCED AND DRUMMED AT THE DISCO?"

7.      Display the word DOG. "Now, I'm going to show you how to tell if this word is CAT or DOG. I'm looking at this word and I know that D tells me to make the dribbling /d/ sound. /d/ /d/ /d/ -OG. DOG. So this word is DOG. Now you try! DAY: day or night? FOOD: drink or food? DAD: dad or mom? GOOSE: duck or goose?"

8.      Lastly, give students each the assessment worksheet. Have them complete the partial spelling of the words and then color ONLY the pictures that have /d/. While they are completing their worksheet, call students up individually and have them read the phonetic cue cards.

Assessment worksheet: http://www.kidzone.ws/kindergarten/d-begins2.htm

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