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Ha Ha Having Fun With H






An Emergent Litercy Lesson Design

Allie Harmon




This lesson with help children identify /h/, the phoneme represented by H. Students will learn to recognize /h/ in oral language by word pictures that attach meaning to the sound /h/ makes, i.e. a teacher clearing his glasses by breathing heavily on them then wiping them, an over heated runner, and a child laughing. The student will then try to find /h/ in spoken words by picking out the correct word in a list of rhyming words.



  • Primary paper and pencil

  • Horton Hears a Who by Dr. Suess

  • Chart with “Henry hurried his hog home.”

  • Notecards with the image of the sound /h/ being made through

    • People laughing

    • Man clearing his glasses

    • Woman running fast

    • Word cards including the words HOG, HEAR, SHARP, FAIR

  • Assessment worksheet



Say: An easy way to pick out all the sounds you make when you speak to your friends is by noticing what your mouth/breath does when you make that sound. For example, the sound /h/ is made when you laugh “ha ha ha”. We spell /h/ with the letter H. Today we will practice noticing when the sound /h/ is made in the words we speak.


Say: Get ready to belly laugh. Hold on to your stomach and let out a hearty /h/, /h/, /h/ (hahaha). Now pant like you ran all the way from the school bus to your house without stopping (huh huh huh ). What is your mouth doing when you make the sound /h/? Are you breathing in or out? When we breath out hot air heavily with an open mouth, the sound /h/ is made.


Say: Listen closely for the panting/laughing in the word behind. I will say it slowly, so watch what my mouth does. Bbbb-ee-hhhhh-ii-nnn-dd. Where did you hear the panting? When did I breathe hot air out of my mouth?


Say: Listen to this story about Henry, listening for the /h/. Henry’s mother was worried about him. He had been gone with his pet hog from the farm all day.  She yelled for him out the window and, thankfully, Henry heard. So, Henry hurried his hog home. Do you hear /h/ in some of those words? Say the sentence “Henry hurried his hog home” out loud two times. Now, say it again slowly. Now say it and try to take a small break after your mouth makes the /h/ sound.


Say: Take out your paper and pencil. When we write the lowercase letter H, we begin at the rooftop and draw a straight line down until your pencil touches the sidewalk. Now, loop your pencil up to the fence and back down to the sidewalk. I will show you how, then I want you to write it five times.


Say: <Call on students to answer questions.> Do you hear /h/ in thug or hug? Hand or stand? Hot or cold? Before or behind? Now lets play a game where every time you hear me say /h/ in the following sentences, grab your belly and laugh silently (hahaha). Have a happy day, Captain Harry! Even though the heat will hinder your sailing.”


Say: Now that we have learned how to say, reocognize and spell the letter H, lets read a book with the same letter. Dr. Seuss writes clever stories about funny-looking, made-up animals like Horton from Horton Hears a Who. <Read a few pages (a subplot perhaps) of Horton Hears a Who>. Do you like how Dr. Seuss invented these silly words? Listen to these silly words I made up starting with the sound /h/. Hink, Hoop, Haffaler. You come up with some new words with the /h/ sound. Draw a picture of the new animal you imagined.


Say: Show HOG and model how to decide if it is hog or fog. You hear the sound /h/ like hahaha in hog. Hhhh-oooo-ggg. No you try some. HEAR: is this NEAR or HEAR? HARP: is this SHARP or HARP? HAIR: is this HAIR or FAIR?


Assessment: For assessment, hand out the worksheet where they have to color pictures that begin with the sound /h/. Then they students should practice writing lower case and upper case letters.




Seuss, and Seuss. Horton Hears a Who! New York: Random House, 1954. Print.


Anna Dilworth, Flying Through the Air with V


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