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

LEARN NC was a program of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Education from 1997 – 2013. It provided lesson plans, professional development, and innovative web resources to support teachers, build community, and improve K-12 education in North Carolina. Learn NC is no longer supported by the School of Education – this is a historical archive of their website.

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Learning outcomes

The learner will:

  • develop concepts of print: Print moves from left to right and makes a return sweep to the next line.
  • use knowledge of letters and sounds to build a familiar sentence.
  • develop recognition of some common words by sight.
  • match words by pointing to each word as he or she reads it.

Teacher planning

Time required for lesson

5 days


  • sentence strips
  • drawing paper 9″ by 12″
  • crayons
  • typed text for title and each line of fingerplay
  • glue sticks
  • several sponges cut into large circles
  • black paint
  • movable eyes
  • black fine point markers


  • Children will need to have prior knowledge of most letters and sounds.
  • Teach the fingerplay “The Itsy, Bitsy Spider”.


  1. Write the first line of the fingerplay on sentence strips and then cut the words apart.
  2. Randomly give out the words to the appropriate number of children.
  3. Have the children with the words come to the front of the group and see if they can build the sentence by arranging themselves in the right order.
  4. Select a child to point to each word as the class reads the sentence.
  5. Give each child an envelope which contains the sentence already cut into words.
  6. The children will glue the words in the correct order on drawing paper and illustrate the sentence.
  7. This will be page one of the children’s book.
  8. Follow the same procedure for pages two through four each day until the book is complete.
  9. Make the cover on day five. Cover idea: Have children glue on the words of the title. Make a spider by sponge painting a black circle. When dry, glue on movable eyes and draw spider legs with fine point markers.
  10. Children read their completed books and enjoy!


Children will use print concepts and phonemic awareness to “read” their completed books.

Supplemental information

I follow up this lesson plan by reading to the children The Itsy, Bitsy Spider by Iza Trapani. They love to compare their illustrations with the ones in this book, and they enjoy learning other verses to the song.


Inspiration for this lesson plan came from Month-By-Month Reading and Writing for Kindergarten by Dorothy P. Hall and Patricia M. Cunningham

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

        • K.RFS.1 Demonstrate understanding of the organization and basic features of print. K.RFS.1.1 Follow words from left to right, top to bottom, and page by page. K.RFS.1.2 Recognize that spoken words are represented in written language by specific sequences of...
        • K.RFS.3 Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words. K.RFS.3.1 Demonstrate basic knowledge of letter-sound correspondences by producing the primary or most frequent sound for each consonant. K.RFS.3.2 Associate the long and...

North Carolina curriculum alignment

English Language Arts (2004)


  • Goal 1: The learner will develop and apply enabling strategies to read and write.
    • Objective 1.01: Develop book and print awareness:
      • identify the parts of books and function of each part.
      • demonstrate an understanding of directionality and voice-print match by following print word for word when listening to familiar text read aloud.
      • demonstrate an understanding of letters, words, and story.
      • identify the title, name of the author and the name of the illustrator.
    • Objective 1.03: Demonstrate decoding and word recognition strategies and skills:
      • recognize and name upper and lower case letters of the alphabet.
      • recognize some words by sight including a few common words, own name, and environmental print such as signs, labels, and trademarks.
      • recognize most beginning consonant letter-sound associations in one-syllable words.