K-12 Teaching and Learning From the UNC School of Education

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  • Phonics fun: Kid Pix Deluxe software is needed for this lesson. Using this program, students will decode and blend one-syllable short-vowel words and words ending with silent "e" to match pictures with words as well as to spell names of pictures.

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Learning outcomes

Students will:

  • draw using a paint program.
  • use phonics skills to write labels for the drawing.

Teacher planning

Time required for lesson

2-3 days


  • picture cards - I used the ones that came with our reading series and Saxon Phonics, or you could use your own teacher made picture sound cards.
  • alphabet strips with phonics pictures (from Saxon Phonics)
  • Bubble Map

Technology resources

  • computer
  • any paint program
  • printer


  • Review letter names and sounds.
  • Brainstorm pictures to go with each letter sound you want the children to work on.
  • Show children how to use the tools in the paint program you are using and let them work with the program for a while.
  • Have children decide what picture they are going to draw and write the word or words to go with the picture. Words can be written using inventive spelling or conventional spelling.


Before going to the computer lab:

  1. Using a bubble map, list the letter sound that you want the children to illustrate. Ask the class to name pictures that go with the sound, or have each child decide what letter he/she wants to illustrate. Each child can make a bubble map for his/her letter/sound. Brainstorm pictures that can be drawn that begin with the letter/sound chosen.
  2. Have each child write the word(s) for the picture he/she will be drawing. This can be inventive spelling or conventional spelling.

In the computer lab or at a classroom computer:

  1. Each child will work at a computer to draw the picture(s) for the word(s) he/she has chosen. After drawing, the teacher or assistant will help the child insert a text box and the child will type the word that names the picture using the writing that was done in the classroom before coming to the lab.
  2. The teacher or assistant will save the child’s drawing and print out the picture in the classroom for use in a class book or letter/sound page. Pictures may also be printed in the lab if you have access to a printer.
  3. The pictures can also be saved to a new folder on the desktop if you are using a computer in your classroom.
  4. Print out the pictures to make letter/sound pages for a class book.
  5. Display completed projects in the classroom library center, school Media Center, local public library, at a parent night, or at your school technology fair.


The success of the lesson will be assessed by the children’s ability to name and hear letter sounds and their success in coming up with appropriate pictures to draw using a Rubric.

Supplemental information

  • Give students ample time to explore the paint program you are planning to use before giving the assignment.
  • For kindergarten, you need at least two adults to assist in helping the children with the paint program.
  • If at all possible, team up the students at the computers. They often help each other.
  • Because of limited time in the lab and the lack of a printer, we saved the work and printed it out later in the classroom. This also gave time for the children to do any necessary editing.


I began the school year doing a page for each letter of the alphabet we studied. We included digital pictures of children whose name began with the letter we were working on. I laminated each page and put them in alphabetical order in a ring-bound book for our library center. Some pages are pictures drawn and colored with crayons, some have magazine cutouts and others have computer generated pictures and text. We have had a great time making the book and the children can read it all! They even know who created each picture. It has been well worth the time spent to bring the alphabet alive for my students.

An optional way to use the student work would be to have each student’s drawing inserted onto a PowerPoint slide. You could then make a slide show for the entire class to see. You could let the children help design the cards by letting them choose the background colors, transitions and fonts. This would also be a great way to display the children’s work for parents and colleagues.

  • Common Core State Standards
    • English Language Arts (2010)
      • Reading: Foundational Skills

        • K.RFS.2 Demonstrate understanding of spoken words, syllables, and sounds (phonemes). K.RFS.2.1 Recognize and produce rhyming words. K.RFS.2.2 Count, pronounce, blend, and segment syllables in spoken words. K.RFS.2.3 Blend and segment onsets and rimes of single-syllable...

North Carolina curriculum alignment

Computer Technology Skills (2005)


  • Goal 1: The learner will understand important issues of a technology-based society and will exhibit ethical behavior in the use of computer and other technologies.
    • Objective 1.09: Identify and discuss characteristics of multimedia (e.g., text, sound, images, color) as a class. Strand - Multimedia/Presentation
  • Goal 2: The learner will demonstrate knowledge and skills in the use of computer and other technologies.
    • Objective 2.02: Identify, discuss, and use word processing as a tool to enter letters, numbers and words. Strand - Keyboard Utilization/Word Processing/Desk Top Publishing

English Language Arts (2004)


  • Goal 1: The learner will develop and apply enabling strategies to read and write.
    • Objective 1.02: Develop phonemic awareness and knowledge of alphabetic principle:
      • demonstrate understanding that spoken language is a sequence of identifiable speech sounds.
      • demonstrate understanding that the sequence of letters in the written word represents the sequence of sounds in the spoken word.
      • demonstrate understanding of the sounds of letters and understanding that words begin and end alike (onsets and rimes).