Online Homeschool Curriculum

    McGuffey's Eclectic Primer McGuffey's Primer    

Lesson 1: A cat and a rat

Letter Sounds:




Words:

    McGuffey's Eclectic Primer McGuffey's Primer    

Lesson 1: A cat and a rat

Teaching Guide:

A Note about Sequencing and Integration with Kindergarten Phonics Instruction

Instructors may wish to begin study of McGuffey's Eclectic Primer after children have completed lessons 1-109 in the phonics curriculum and mastered the sounds of all letters in the alphabet. Note how phonics lesson 110 matches nicely with McGuffey's Eclectic Primer lessons 1-5.

Step 1: Teach New Letter Sounds

Display one of the letters on a computer screen or whiteboard.

  • Point to the letter, make the letter sound, and ask children to repeat the sound.
  • Repeat the process for each letter.

Display all lesson letters together on the computer screen or whiteboard.

  • Make a letter sound and ask children to pick out the associated letter.
  • Alternatively, point to letters and ask the children to make the associated sound.
  • Repeat until all letters are mastered.

Note: If teaching multiple children, practice both as a group and individually to ensure mastery by each child.

Step 2: Teach 'Cat'

Show the lesson picture and point to the cat.

  • Ask: What am I pointing at?
  • Ask: What can you tell me about cats?
  • Ask: What is the cat in the picture looking at?
  • Ask: Is that a real cat? Can she run? Can she mew? Can she eat cat treats?
  • Say: No, it is not a real cat. It is a picture of a cat.
  • Say: We see a picture of a real cat. Now I will show you a picture of the word cat.

Display the word 'cat' on your computer screen or whiteboard.

  • Say: That is the picture that stands for the word 'cat', just as the picture we looked at before stands for a real cat.

Point to the word 'cat.'

  • Ask: How do you pronounce this word?

Display the lesson on the computer screen or whiteboard.

  • Ask: Who can find the word 'cat' in the lesson?
  • Give each child a turn in locating the word 'cat' within the lesson.

Step 3: Teach 'Rat'

Repeat the previous step for 'rat.'

Display both words 'cat' and 'rat.'

  • Practice until each child can readily point to the right word when it is spoken.

Display the lesson on the computer screen or whiteboard.

  • Practice until each child can readily point to the words 'cat' and 'rat' within the lesson when asked.

Step 4: Teach 'A Cat'

Show the lesson picture and point to the cat.

  • Ask: What is this a picture of? This is...
  • Ask: Do we say 'This is cat' or do we say 'This is a cat'?
  • Say: We say 'This is a cat.'

Display the phrase 'a cat' on the computer/whiteboard.

  • Say: This phrase reads 'a cat.'

Point to the words.

  • Ask: How do you say these words?

Display the lesson on the computer screen or whiteboard.

  • Say: Who can find the words 'a cat' in the lesson?
  • Practice until each child can readily point to the words 'a cat' within the lesson when asked.

Step 5: Teach 'A Rat'

Repeat the previous step for 'a rat.'

  • Display the words 'cat', 'rat', 'a cat', and 'a rat', to children.
  • Ensure they can readily point to the right word(s) when spoken.

Step 6: Teach 'And'

Point at both the cat and rat in the lesson picture.

  • Ask: What are these animals we have been talking about? (Draw out 'a cat and a rat')
  • Say: That's right, a cat and a rat.
  • Say: Who can tell the word that we have not studied? Listen as I say it again: a cat and a rat.

Display the word 'and.'

  • Say: This reads 'and.'

Point to the word.

  • Ask: How do you say this word?

Display the lesson.

  • Ask: Who can find the word 'and' in the lesson?

Give each child a turn in locating the word 'and' within the lesson.

Step 7: Complete Lesson Copywork

  • Have children complete the associated McGuffey tracework or copywork for this lesson. Click an icon to the right to access the page.    
  • Tracework (tracing dashed letters) is for absolute beginning writers who need prompts.
  • Children graduate from tracework to copywork (freeform reproduction of examples), when they are ready.

Step 8: Independent Reinforcement

  • Later in the day, have children independently review the lesson.
  • Children should click the links to hear the letter sounds, words, and sentences pronounced and then repeat them aloud.
  • Teach the lesson each day until children have mastered the lesson and are ready to progress to the next lesson.