Hungry Hippo


Associate the letter H (and lowercase h) with the /h/ sound (e.g., hippo, hat, ham).

Lesson Plan

See More

Target Words:

  • hungry
  • hippo
  • hat
  • hip
  • hop
  • hug
  • hum


  • Henrietta the Hippo paper bag puppet (see below)
  • Hotdog word cards (see below)
  • Hippo picture (see below)

State and model the objective

Write the letters H and h on a whiteboard (emphasizing the /h/ sound).Tell the children they will play a game with a hungry hippo as practice saying the /h/ sound in words that start with the letter H such as hungry, hippo, hat, ham, hip, hit, hot, hop, hug, and hum.

Practice the skill within an activity

Feed the hungry hippo

  • Assemble the hippo puppet using a paper bag and the puppet graphic (see below).
  • Show the children the puppet and explain that Henrietta the Hippo is hungry for a hotdog.
  • Have the children choose a word card one at a time and help them read the word on the card.
  • Instruct the children to circle the letter H in the word on each card while saying the /h/ sound.
  • Allow the children to pretend to feed the hotdog word cards to the hippo puppet by sliding the card through the slit cut.

Apply the skill

Identify the target sound in words

  • Make a list of the words from the hungry hippo activity (i.e., hat, ham, hip, hit, hot, hop, hug, hum).
  • Help the children identify the beginning and rhyme ending sounds of each word on the list by tapping their head for the beginning sound of the word and toes for the rest of the word (e.g., hat = /h/ tap head and /at/ tap toes).
  • Point out that all of the words have the /h/ sound at the beginning of the word and start with the letter H.

Write the target letter

  • Help the children write the letter H (and lowercase h) on sticky notes or small pieces of paper.
  • Allow the children to attach the letters to the hippo picture (see below).
  • Have the children produce the /h/ sound each time they attach the letter H to the picture.



See More

1. CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.K.1.D: Recognize and name all upper and lower case letters in the alphabet.
2. CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.K.3.A: Demonstrate basic knowledge of one-to-one letter-sound correspondences by producing the primary sound or many of the most frequent sounds for each consonant.