Lesson plan

Same Sound, Different Location

Learning that letters make the same sounds whether they are at the beginning or end of words can make a big difference in young students' understanding of letters and their ability to read!
Need extra help for EL students? Try the What Do You Hear? pre-lesson.
EL Adjustments
Grade Subject View aligned standards
Need extra help for EL students? Try the What Do You Hear? pre-lesson.

Students will be able to identify letters and letter sounds at the beginning and end of words.

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments
(5 minutes)
  • Call students together.
  • Write the word pop on the board.
  • Ask students to identify the first letter in the word (Students should say "P").
  • Have students form this letter with their bodies.
  • As a whole group, make the sound the letter P makes.
  • Then, have students look at the last letter in the word. Ask students to identify this letter. (They should recognize that this is also a P.)
  • Have students work with a partner to form the letter with both of their bodies. Have students whisper the p sound in unison once everyone has formed the letter with their partner.
  • Explain to students that, just like when they made the letter themselves or with a partner, the letter P always makes the same sound no matter where they see it in a word. While there are some special exceptions to this rule, explain to students that most letters make the same sound whether they are at the beginning or the end of a word. Using this information, sound out the word pop as a class.
(5 minutes)
  • Divide the class into 3-4 groups. Assign each group a word like “mom,” “dad” or “wow” (these can be written on small pieces of paper and handed to the groups). Have students form the words with their bodies and pronounce the beginning and ending sounds.
  • If students need more practice, redivide groups and assign different words that begin and end with the same letter sound.
(5 minutes)
  • Write a list of words on the board: cat, dip, tot, not, bob, ran, pup.
  • Ask for student volunteers to come up and either circle a word that has the same beginning and ending letter or cross out a word with different beginning and ending sounds.
  • Have students make the sound the letter makes and provide the vowel sound in the middle. Point out how the beginning and ending sound are the same, matching the letters.
  • After students have crossed out cat, dip, not and ran and circled tot, bob and pup, explain to students that in a few minutes they will have the opportunity to go on a word hunt in a magazine.
  • Instruct students that when they go on their word hunt they will need to cut out words that have the same first and last letter. Then, they will sort the words so that words with the same first and last letters are together. They will glue these onto pieces of paper. Take a moment to demonstrate an example or two of this.
  • Before sending students off to work, ask if students have any questions and remind them of any independent work time rules (i.e., only speaking in a whisper, raising hands for needs, etc.)
(15 minutes)
  • While students are working, any adults in the room should be circulating, answering questions and assessing student abilities in identifying letter and letter sounds.
  • Playing quiet music in the background can help to set a good working mood and keep conversations to a minimum.
  • Having lots of supply stations with scissors, glue, etc. spread throughout the room can help to prevent congestion as students gather in one area.


  • Working with a partner can help to scaffold this activity.
  • Having pre-cut words for students to choose from can help to make this activity more accessible for students.


  • For students needing a greater challenge, encourage finding the same letter at the beginning, middle and end of words.
(5 minutes)
  • Take anecdotal notes about student answers to questions around their thought processes in completing the activities. These can be used to make determinations about what students know.
  • Check for student accuracy in their projects.
(10 minutes)
  • Call students back together.
  • Ask students to share about their experiences. What words did they find? What did they enjoy about doing this word search? What did they find most difficult?
  • Ask students to think of a word they have learned today that starts and ends with the same letter.
  • Conclude by reminding students that today they learned that, most of the time, letters make the same sound whether they are at the beginning or the end of a word.

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