What to do
- Write the letters N and n on the board; make them at least a foot tall. Alternatively, use letter cards large enough for the whole group to see easily.
- The sound for these two letters is the same. What's the sound for this letter? Point to the lowercase n. Good. So what's the sound for this letter? Point to the uppercase N. Right! This is called a capital letter. Remember, when you say /nnn/ (Say the /n/ sound as in nut, holding for at least a second.), your lips are apart, your tongue touches the roof of your mouth, just behind your front teeth, and the sound comes out of your nose: /nnn/. If you hold your nose, you can't say the sound: /nnn/. Again: what's the sound?
- Look for students who are not saying the sound. Ask them: What's the sound? Look for students who are making the wrong sound and model the sound for them until they have it right. Well done everyone.
- We use the /N/ sound to begin words like number, night, name, new, no. Can you tell me some other words that begin with /N/?
- Erase N and n. Now write 12 letters on the board (arrange them randomly): 4 of the letters should be N and they should be interspersed with 8 other letters dissimilar in appearance to N, such as s and p. Don't include lowercase n.
- When I point to the letter we just learned, say its sound. When I point to any other letter, you have to stay quiet. My turn first. Point to a series of letters and either say the sound or make a performance of saying nothing, as appropriate.
- Your turn. Ready? Point to letters randomly, holding on each one for a few seconds.
- If a student says the sound for one of the other letters (not N), point to N and say: You only need to make a sound for this letter. When I point to any other letter, stay quiet. Ready? Look for individuals who are saying nothing when you point to N. Have those students try letters individually until they have it (but don’t call only on struggling students). Keep going until everyone has it.