Lesson plan

Ending Notes

Singing is a great way to teach reading skills! Use song lyrics to get students thinking about ending sounds with this interactive lesson.
Need extra help for EL students? Try theHow Does it End?Pre-lesson.
EL Adjustments
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Need extra help for EL students? Try theHow Does it End?Pre-lesson.

Students will be able to identify ending letters and the sounds they make.

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments
(3 minutes)
Sound Off!Itsy Bitsy SpiderWheels on the Bus Song
  • Write the lyrics to “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” on the board (It can be helpful to write this in small sections so as not to overwhelm students).
  • Call students together and sing the song. It can also be fun to sing along to a book with words and illustrations that match the lyrics, like Row, Row, Row Your BoatIllustrated by Annie Kubler.
(10 minutes)
  • Have student volunteers come up and circle the last letter in each word. As student volunteers circle the last letters, sing the song. Hold the last note of the word containing the letter that is being circled. Explain to students that this is the sound that this letter makes.
  • Once students have finished, show students an alphabet chart and have students identify some of the letters and sounds they just heard in “Row, Row, Row Your Boat.”
(5 minutes)
  • Pass out typed or handwritten copies of “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” to students. (Once again, it can be helpful to break the words up into small sections so as not to overwhelm students.)
  • Have students work with a partner to circle the last letter in each word and hold that note as they sing the song to hear what the letter sounds like.
  • Come back together as a group to discuss the ending letters and sounds. Check to make sure that students are all on the right track.
(5 minutes)
  • Explain to students that you will be slowly singing the first verse of “The Wheels on the Bus.” The first time you sing it, you would like them to each count the number of final SSounds they hear (Repeat several times until students hear it four times).
  • Repeat singing the first verse again, but this time, students should count the number of final DSounds they hear.
  • If necessary, repeat this again, having students listening for the NSound.


  • Working with a partner can help to scaffold this activity.
  • Offering written versions of “The Wheels on the Bus” can be an important visual aid for some students.


  • For students needing a greater challenge, try higher-level songs with words ending in vowels that can make more than one type of sound or diagraphs.
(5 minutes)
  • Student accuracy in identifying letters and sounds in the songs can be used to determine whether the lesson objective has been met.
  • Students can also be assessed on their knowledge of letter sounds using the Sound Off! assessment.
(7 minutes)
  • Call students back together.
  • Ask for student volunteers to sing a few lines from a song they know. As students sing, ask the rest of the class to listen and see if they can identify any ending sounds. Discuss what letters make these sounds.
  • Encourage students to continue listening for ending sounds and observing ending letters all around them!

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