hungry hippo

Hungry Hippo

Hungry Hippo
Target text


Associate the uppercase letter H and lowercase letter h with the /h/ sound, as in hippo, hat, and ham.

See Standards

Lesson Plan

Target Words:

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


  • Henrietta the Hippo paper bag puppet
  • Hotdog word cards
  • Hippo graphic

The children 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.

Literacy Activities
Feed the hungry hippo

  • Assemble the hippo puppet using a paper bag and the puppet graphic.
  • 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 into the puppet's mouth.

More Practice
Identify the target sound in words

  • Make a list of the words from the hungry hippo activity (e.g., hat, ham, hip, hit, hot, hop, hug, hum).
  • Help the children identify the beginning and 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 + /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 uppercase letter H and lowercase h on sticky notes or small pieces of paper.
  • Allow the children to attach the letters to the hippo picture.
  • Have the children produce the /h/ sound each time they attach the letter H to the picture.
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SEEL lessons align with Common Core Standards. Please see the standards page for the code(s) associated with this lesson.