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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


Student Objectives

Instruction and Activities


Student Assessment/Reflections



Students will

  • Listen to and/or read the story Jack and the Beanstalk

  • Recognize and identify words with hard and soft g sounds

  • Categorize words beginning with the letter g by their sound (i.e., hard or soft)

  • Listen to and/or read a story about a giant

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Instruction and Activities

1. Read the folk tale, Jack and the Beanstalk. If multiple copies are available, have students follow along or participate in a picture walk or shared reading depending on their ability. Ask students who lived at the top of the beanstalk. Discuss the word giant and its beginning sound.

2. Ask students to name other words beginning with the same sound as the word giant. Create a list of their words on chart paper or overhead (some words should begin with the letter j). Prompt students to name a word in the title of Jack and the Beanstalk that begins with the same sound as giant. Students should respond with the word Jack.

3. Read the words in the list aloud, having students read the words with you or repeat the words after you. Ask students what they notice about the beginning sound and letter of each word? Students should be able to generalize that in these words, the letters j and g have the same sound.

4. Circle the words that begin with the letter g and ask students to help you find clues for why these words have the same sound as the letter j. If necessary, add a few words to the list (e.g., ginger, gentle, general, gym, gypsy) so that you have at least two examples of g followed by e, i, and y.

5. Explain that many words have the soft g sound. Draw students' attention to the letter that follows g in each of the words you have circled. Even if they do not see the similarities, write (and read) the words gang, gap, go, gobble, gum, and gush. Help students to see that when followed by e, i, or y, the g is usually soft and when followed by a, o, or u, the g is usually hard.

6. On a new piece of chart paper or overhead, draw a line down the middle of the sheet making two columns, one marked "Soft g" and the other marked "Hard g." Have students decide which column each g word should go from their initial listing. As you are doing this as a group, you can do some informal assessment by calling on individual students to see if they understand the generalization. If you think students need extra practice, add more words to the list (e.g., gigantic, germ, generous, gymnasium, gas, got, guppy).

7. Arrange students at a computer either as a group or individually, depending on their ability. Direct them to open the bookmarked website, Animal Coloring Pages: G. Ask students to:

  • Find an animal that begins with the letters go and honks (goose).

  • Find an animal that begins with the letters gi and is very tall (giraffe).

  • Find an animal that begins with the letters ga and lives in Africa (gazelle).

  • Find an animal that begins with the letters ge, is small, and looks like a mouse (gerbil).

  • Find an animal that begins with the letters gu and is a bird (gull).
Students do not necessarily have to be able to read all of the words if they understand the generalization. Write the animal words on chart paper or overhead as students find their answers.

8. Distribute one copy of the Hard and Soft g worksheet to each student. Have them put the animal names in the proper columns. You may also ask them to add the words from the previous chart you did together.

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  • Have students return to the Animal Coloring Pages: G on the website, Enchanted Learning. Invite them to select one of the animals to paint online (see bottom of screen for instructions on how to copy and paste an animal printout into a painting program). If students are not skilled enough to do this activity online, the picture can be printed and colored with crayons.

  • Have students practice with matching beginning-letter, sounds to images using the Picture Match game. Have them work with the letter g and other letters that have similar patterns like c.

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  • Teacher observation and ongoing assessments during the lesson

  • Hard and Soft g worksheet

  • If students have journals or notebooks, they can be encouraged to use g words in future writing.

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