A GEORGIA SCHOOL has found an ingenious way to teach its youngest students about rhymes. By using an interactive whiteboard, Dug Gap Elementary School in Dalton, part of the Whitfield County School System, is making learning fun and successful for pre-K children of all learning styles and abilities. For a majority of the students, English is their second language, so teachers must use creative teaching methods to ensure that all students succeed.
Lesson description: The teacher reviews with students the concept that words that rhyme are the same “on the back of the word.” Then, using an interactive whiteboard, the teacher displays pictures of various rhyming words, such as frog and log and mat and bat, and the children repeat the words aloud. Next the youngsters are shown photos, on the whiteboard, of three classmates and school staff members. The teacher says a silly or nonsensical word (“Bomar”), and the student is asked to touch the photo of the student whose name rhymes with that word (“Omar”). If the student touches an incorrect photo, he or she will hear the teacher’s recorded voice say, “Try again.” If the student touches the correct photo, he or she will hear, “Great job, you did it!” The lesson continues until each class member has taken a turn.
The plan works well because it actively engages the children while considering their various learning styles and abilities. The visual/auditory learner can see and hear the lesson, the kinesthetic learner can physically participate in the activity and students with limited English proficiency will succeed because of the self-correcting recorded response.
Subject area: The subject area is language arts, with an emphasis on children learning to discriminate the sounds of language.
Standards: The lesson meets Georgia’s Pre-K Content Standards for Language Arts for phonological awareness LD2b, requiring that the student “repeats rhymes, poems and finger plays.” Moreover, it meets Georgia Kindergarten English Language Arts Standard ELAKR2a: “The student demonstrates the ability to identify and orally manipulate words and individual sounds within those spoken words. The student identifies and produces rhyming words in response to an oral prompt and distinguishes rhyming and non-rhyming words.”
As the lesson plan is designed for pre-kindergarten children, the assessment tool for pre-K children is the Content Standards Checklist; the assessment tool for kindergarteners is the Georgia Kindergarten Assessment Program – Revised (GKAP-R).
Resources: Interactive whiteboard, Boardmaker software for pictures of rhyming words, PowerPoint software for photos of students and staff members.
It follows the Georgia kindergarten report card standards:
Mastery: 5 out of 6 examples of rhyming words
In Progress: 3 out of 4 examples of rhyming words
Not Evident: 1 out of 2 examples of rhyming words
The effectiveness of the lesson plan is measured in percentage of “on-task” student behavior, along with percentage of students achieving “mastery” and “in progress.” The target goal for student behavior is 95 percent, and the target goal for mastery will be the grading rubric.
Prepare the class using authentic rhymes (“ship, trip”) before introducing the “silly” words and names in the lesson plan. To maximize instructional time and student understanding, demonstrate correct and incorrect usage of the interactive whiteboard.
Betsy Thornton, a pre-kindergarten teacher at Dug Gap Elementary School, in Dalton, Ga., believes technology can “level the playing field” for children of all physical, linguistic and cognitive abilities.