Single Consonant lessons provide the bridge that crosses over from phonemic awareness. You introduce the grapheme, or letter and map it to the sound, or phoneme.
So much of what we do during phonemic awareness we do with new consonant sounds. For example we write the first letter in the Elonkin Box and tell people to point to the letter and make the sound.
You begin by introducing easy to recognize consonants that do not get confused with other letters. When moving through early phonics focus on explicit instruction while teaching the phonics pattern across multiple modalities and repetition.
If you want to stretch the lesson have students imagine their mouths or breaths making the shape of something that starts with that letter.
You will model how you say the sound, connecting back to phonemic awareness. You will talk about the air flow as you have students close their eyes and feel the shape of the sound coming out of their mouths. Finally you will explicitly map each single consonant sound to the letter.
One game to try is to get kids up and moving as they have to identify the letters as you read short sentences on the board. They can stand up and sit down based on recognizing a letter. Make sure to use a pointer and students can not sit down or stand up fpr the letter.
In order top get students to feel the letter rely on the shaving cream letter station. A messy blast for so many students. Give them a pile and letters to trace.
You will segment and blend different words using consonant sounds. When focusing on initial consononant sounds just use Eloknin boxes and have students fill the first letter. Point to the lteer as you read in on chart paper or in a “Big” Decodable book.
Many decodable texts exist on commercial websites and in the market place. You can also write your own with the students and they can color.
This is Pat the Cat,
The Cat hid in the hat.
The kid sat on the hat.
The cat said, “Ow”
The cat sat in the kid's lap.
The kid and the cat took a nap
You do not have to be Dr Seuss nor do you have to print decodable stories from the Internet that are not much better. You need to explicitly point out the consonant you are teaching. You need to explicitly point our the consonants you have previously taught never doing more than 2-3 at a time.
The students can annotate the text for the consonant. It is never to early to reinforce the practice of annotating source material. Have them circle one consonant and put a square around the other. It is never to early to reinforce geometry concepts.
One idea is to create an onset and rime spinner with CVC words. Take the letter you are introducing and put on a paper plate. Take a second paper plate and write different two letter rimes such as -at -og -in -en.
Then take the first plate and cut out a hole next to the consonant being introduced. Then attach the two plates so kids have a word maker. These word building activities improve the phoneme and grapheme connection.
You can do the same lesson with many different manipulative s such as magnetic letters, legos, or anything you can stack into patterns.
In order to see the letter have students do word sorts where they must put words into piles based on the starting consonant. If you need to differentiate you can include a picture.
Play random word list. Never use more than 2-3 initial consonant sounds. Put all the words in a hat or any tool to randomly select. Say the word out loud and have students write down the word. You can use a six sided die and add a 1, 2,3, multiplier.
On the 4, 5, 6 make the stand for silly words someone can choose if they roll it. You will have to write the silly word on the board.