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Lesson Plan

Using Folk Tales: Vowel Influences on the Letter G

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Using Folk Tales: Vowel Influences on the Letter G

Grades K – 2
Lesson Plan Type Minilesson
Estimated Time One 25- to 35-minute session
Lesson Author

Rebecca L. Olness

Black Diamond, Washington


International Literacy Association



From Theory to Practice



Folk tales and fairy tales are of interest to and part of the language arts curriculum for young learners. This lesson supports the study of this genre and the study of irregular patterns and letter-sound relationships related to decoding and spelling. After reading the folk tale Jack and the Beanstalk, students discuss the word giant and its beginning sound. Students then create their own lists of words that begin with the same sound. Then, students are introduced to words with the soft g sound and create a new list of words with this beginning sound. As a culminating activity, students work individually or in groups to categorize animal names into groups according to their beginning g sound.

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Johnson, F.R. (2001). Spelling exceptions: Problems or possibilities? The Reading Teacher, 54, 372378.

  • While consonants are more regular than vowels and more likely to correspond to just one sound, there are times when they do not. The letter g is an example, having both a hard and soft sound.

  • Evidence shows that capable readers and spellers respond to patterns rather than rules, and recognition of these patterns can help students make sense of the English system.

  • All five vowels influence the particular sound that g will have in a word. When followed by e, i (and y), the g tends to have the soft sound, whereas when followed by a, o, and u, the g tends to have the hard sound.

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