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crack an egg with c

An Emergent Literacy Design by Kathleen McGahan


Rationale: This lesson will help students identify /k/, the phoneme represented by C. Students will learn to recognize /k/ in spoken words by learning a meaningful representation (cracking an egg) and the letter symbol C (looks like a cracked egg), practice finding /k/ in words, and apply phoneme awareness with /k/ in phonetic cue reading by distinguishing rhyming words from beginning letters.



  • Primary paper and pencil

  • chart with “Creepy crawly critters catch Cate’s cat”

  • word cards with the words CAT, CRY, CROSS, and CREAM on them

  • index cards for each student with the letter C on them 

  • Clickety Clack book

  • Hidden Letter C Worksheet and colored pencils/markers



  • Teacher explains to the class that the alphabet is very important for learning to read and write, and we need to know what each letter of the alphabet stands for. This can be tricky sometimes so we must learn how our mouths move when we say each letter. Today we are going to learn the mouth move for /k/. We spell /k/ with the letter C. C looks like a cracked egg, and /k/ sounds like cracking an egg.

  • Let’s pretend to crack an egg- we tap the egg on the side of a bowl and it makes a /k/, /k/, /k/ sound. When the egg is broken, it looks like the letter C.

  • Let me show you how to find /k/ in the word crib. I have to stretch crib out slowly and listen for the cracking egg sound. Cr-ib. Slower: C-r-i-b. There you go! The cracking egg sound is at the very beginning of the word, and when we read the word we can identify that the C at the beginning of the word looks like a cracked egg.

  • Now let’s do a tongue tickler. “Creepy crawly critters catch Cate’s cat”. Let’s say it three times together. Now this time when you say it, stretch the /c/ at the beginning of the words. “Cccreepy cccrawly cccritters cccatch CCCate’s cccat.” Try it again and break it off of the word: “/c/ reepy /c/ rawly

 /c/ ritters /c/ atch /c/ ate’s /c/ at”.

  • Now let’s practice writing the letter C (students take out primary paper and a pencil). We use C to spell /k/. C looks like a cracked egg. Let’s start by writing lowercase C. Start just below the fence, then curve it a bit like the top of an egg and bring it up to touch the fence. Now curve it down like your making a circle, make it touch the sidewalk, and curve it up a little above the sidewalk. See how that looks like a cracked egg? Let’s practice writing C a few more times to make sure we get it just right! (Practice writing capital C as well).

  • Practice recognizing /c/ in spoken words by calling on students and asking them if they hear /k/ in: Eat or cook? Crisp or soft? Pig or cow?  Scribble or draw?

  • Next, distribute index cards with the letter C on them. Say: “Okay class, now we are going to read a book called Clickety Clack. Who hears the /k/ sound in that title? Now as I read this book, I want you to be listening carefully for the cracking egg sound. If you hear that sound I want you to hold up your C card!” Read the students Clickety Clack by Rob Spence. When the students hear /k/ in the story, have them hold up their card.

  • Show CAT and model how to decide if it is cat or mat: Listen for the cracking egg sound. Do we hear it in cat or mat? The C in cat sounds like the cracking egg sound and looks like a cracked egg. You try some: CRY: cry or try? CROSS: cross or loss?  CREAM: cream or dream?

  • To assess the students, have them write down as many words they can think of (that we have not talked about) that have /k/ in them. Then, distribute the Hidden Letter worksheet that will help the students to locate capital and lowercase C. They will color the capital C’s one color and the lowercase c’s another color.






Spence, R., & Spengler, M. (2001). Clickety Clack. New York: Puffin Books. 


Lesson Design: Susan Jordan. Crack a Nut with C. 



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