1st Grade: March

Welcome to March!

Welcome to March! Here comes your overview of the month …

Poetry:  Add KMPs of the month to the monthly poem, “It is March.” It’s loaded: /i/ /ar/  /ch/ /spr/ and the ow spelling of long /o/.

KMPs: /ing/, long /o/, /ee/, long /a/, and /or/. Listen for the Quick Ones, the blends, such as /sn/.

Language Calendar: The LC offers a routine to model how to write a longer piece. Expand the entries to demonstrate a topic sentence, two details and and ending. March is a great time to expand thoughts through themes such as Dr. Seuss, Spring, aspects of the changing seasons, and St. Patrick’s Day.

Vowel House: We will be working with the long /o/ window and its alternate spellings. Remember, the name of the window is the KMP, or sound of the vowel. Guide the students to observe the pattern for spelling words that is on each window of the VH.

Have a great month!

Dr. Terry Kindervater, Ph.D.
Educator & Founder of Phonics in Motion


Monthly poem - start with a few KMPs and add many more as the month progresses!

It is March

(To the tune of Frere Jacques)

It is March.
It is March.
Spring is near.
Spring is here.
In like a lion,
Out like a lamb.
March winds blow.
Out goes snow!

Poem by the Phonics in Motion team






blends bl and sn

Simple Poem Demonstration Video Advanced Poem Demonstration Video

Weekly poem


March comes in like a lion,
So wild and bold!
The strong wind is blowing,
The weather is cold!
By the end of the month –
A complete turnaround,
It goes out like a lamb,
With a soft, gentle sound.

Poem by Lakeshore Learning


long /o/


/ou/; /ong/; /th; /ur/


final blends -nd; -ft

Weekly poem

The Leprechauns are Marching

They’re marching down the hall.
They’re marching on the ceiling.
They’re marching on the wall.
They’re marching two by two.
And now it’s four by four.
They say you cannot see them.
Look out! Here comes some more!

Author Unknown






long /oo/; /m/; /f/; /k/

Weekly poem


The long cold winter is melting away
A single red bird was spotted today

Through the mist the sun is peeking
Squirrels are about and acorn-seeking

New life has come to fields and woods
Kids venture out in sweatshirts and hoods

In just a few weeks the river will flow
Blossoms on trees will be starting to show

There’s still a chill in the springtime air
Winter is gone but the memory is still there

Summer is waiting a few months beyond
To warm the air and the meadow and pond

A gopher peers out from the holes that he makes
Springtime is when the whole world awakes.

Poem by Classroom Jr.


long /a/


long /o/; short /oo/; short vowels



Weekly poem

What is it?

Tall ears,
Twinkly nose,
Tiny and tall,
And – hop he goes!
What is he?
Can you guess?
I feed him carrots
And watercress.
His ears are long.
His tail is small.
And he doesn’t make any
Noise at all!
Tall ears,
Twinkly nose,
Tiny and tall,
And – hop he goes!

Poem by Teresa Kindiger




long /o/; long /a/; /t/


blends /tw/; /oi/

Reading and Writing Monster: Handwriting Stories


o gets away,

o moves up to the Monster

and oh, oh, oh, oh,

I got away.


e escapes!

e moves away from the monster,

the monster pulls him back

and he escapes.


a is an acrobat.

a goes to the Monster.

Gets away, goes down.

Ta da!

(Tip! Demonstrate writing the a’s on a circus high wire. Stroke downward with the line in the end and chant, “Ta da!” )


m moves away

and moves away.

Go down, and move away,

and move away.

The Language Calendar


  • Read favorite literature to write about on the Calendar.
  • Illustrate each entry with a picture to match text.
  • Ask, "Where do I begin to read?" on more than one line of text.
  • Clap a short word (one syllable) and a long word (2 or more syllables).
  • Stretch out a word on the arm. Say it slowly.
  • Segment and blend at least one word daily.
  • Box sight words.


  • Count the words after you write.
  • Use entries that correlate with ELA Standards (Main character, a detail, problem in the story).
  • Include non-fiction entries. (Today is Dr. Seuss' birthday.  He wrote more than 60 books.)
  • Include entries for Science, Social Studies (Today is the first day of Spring.  It is called the Vernal Equinox.)


  • We read How to Catch a Leprechaun by Adam Wallace. The children in the book tried to make traps to catch the leprechaun. He was tricky!


  • Read the book to students.
  • Students turn and talk to retell the various traps the children in the book made.
  • Ask students what they would to do catch a leprechaun. Make a list of their ideas to display.
  • Journal: Students write How to Catch a Leprechaun at the top of a page. Students describe a leprechaun trap and draw a picture to match.

CAP Focus

  • Review KMPs for /ch/, /i/ in tried (big sister i, little sister e–i does all the talking).
  • /tr/  Quick one. Do the KMP for each consonant quickly.
  • Clap make. Write the letters for the sounds you hear (m, a, k). Are we done? Why do we need the e? Which VH window does make go in?
  • Clap children. How many claps? How many vowel sounds? Every clap has a vowel.
  • Sight words: to, was


  • March 2 is Dr. Seuss’ birthday. We participated in Read Across America.  Each of us read one of the many books Dr. Seuss wrote.


  • Display a collection Dr Seuss books.
  • Display a large Dr. Seuss chart for the month. Encourage drawing favorite characters, settings, problems and solutions, using a book as the reference. (Model numerous examples over the month.)
  • When a child draws on the chart,  follow-up with an independent journal entry. For example, ” I thought Horton was a good friend.”
  • Visit Seussville.com for classroom suggestions about books.

CAP Focus

  • KMP/a/ in across, America
  • Clap syllables: participated. Draw an arrow above each vowel. “Every clap has a vowel.”
  • Vary language: All of us, Everybody, We…
  • Past tense: read, wrote
  • Compare VH windows: read /ee/ and read /e/
  • Find VH window; book-short /oo/


  • We read Horton Hatches an Egg.  Horton was faithful to the egg one hundred percent.  He sat on the egg through rain and snow.


  • Read the book.
  • Present a chart with a picture of Horton.  Discuss and list character traits.
  • Model stating an opinion about Horton’s character using the trait. “I would like Horton as a friend because he is faithful. He sat on the egg and didn’t worry about himself.”
  • Journal: Use traits about Horton and Mayzie to write about the characters.
  • Model a summary of the story using Somebody, Wanted, But, So, Then.
  • Make a book over the week with a page for each part of the SWBST framework.

CAP Focus

  • KMP: /h/; short /e/; long /a/
  • Underline title
  • Capitalize names
  • Find VH window for rain and snow
    Cover up endings: -ful; -es
    Sight words: through
  • Clap: hatches; faithful; rainDiscuss characters, setting, problem, solution
  • Discuss character traits of Horton and Mayzie


  • It was the first day of spring. March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. The weather can be very different from one day to the next!


  • Talk with students about what the phrase “in like a lion, out like a lamb” means.
  • Discuss whether the first day of March is a lamb day or a lion day. Clarify, using descriptive language. Glue the appropriate animal of the calendar.
  • Make a chart with students with lion on one side and lamb on the other. Ask students for weather words and have them sort them into the correct category. (warm, windy, breezy, cool…)
  • Have pictures of a lion and lamb; students choose one or the other to glue into their journal. Under the picture, students should choose a day from this month to describe, using weather words from the list you generated as a class. Students can draw a picture of the weather from that day to match their description. Write a sentence.
  • At the end of the month, graph the animals. Use the language to describe the graph: there were many more lion days than lamb days.
  • Journal independently about the graph.

CAP Focus


  • Clap first; what do you hear in the middle? What do we know about /er/ (sing the song). What’s our guess for the spelling in first? Does it look right?
  • Review /ar/ in March. Which window does it go in?
  • Clap different. How many claps? Draw the claps mark (phrase marking under words) to show the syllables.
  • Sight words: comes, very, from


  • Daylight Savings Time begins this weekend. Many areas of the world change the time on their clocks.  They spring forward one hour.


  • Discuss Daylight Savings Time.  Visit the holiday link.
  • Make a clock.  Use printable version. Children use clock as a visual to explain DST.
  • Journal: Draw two clocks to show spring forward. Write an explanation.
  • Journal: Give 2 reasons the world uses DST.


CAP Focus

  • KMPs: long /i/.  Put time and light the VH/.
  • Abbreviation: DST
  • Clap: daylight
  • Discuss compound words: daylight; weekend
  • Discuss adding -ing to “save”.  “It
    (-ing) kicks big mouth -e out of town.”
  • Sight words: one; should; becomes; hour


  • We read The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter.  It is a classic.
  • Peter did not obey his Mother and went into Mr. Gregor’s garden. It was a dangerous adventure.


  • Read The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter here.
  • Model writing a Somebody Wanted But So Then summary (SWBST):
  • Peter wanted to eat some fresh vegetables but his mother told him to stay out of Mr. McGregor’s garden.  So, he snuck under the gate to eat.  Then, Mr. McGregor saw him eating and tried to catch him.  Peter ran back under the gate and got away.
  • Complete a story map with 3-4 events from the story.
  • Journal: Create a list of character traits of Peter (naughty, brave, curious). Illustrate and give text evidence to support choosing the trait.

CAP Focus

  • KMP: long /a/
  • Blends: /cl/, /gr/
  • Clap: vegetables, garden
  • Possessive and use of apostrophe
  • Find VH window:  gate, stay. (-ay) is another way to spell (_a__e)
  • Summary
  • Characters, setting, problem solution
  • Sight words: catch; away; stay


  • We made a paper bag bunny puppet. We used a paper bag, scissors, construction paper and glue.



  • Make a paper bag bunny puppet displayed here.
  • Whole group:  Write the directions for making a  paper puppet on a chart. Illustrate each step.
  • Journal: Write directions independently.

CAP Focus

  • KMP: /b/; /p/; /j/ /-tion/
  • Double pp in puppet (because the /u/ in in the top row of the VH).
  • Draw sweep lines under syllable in: paper; bunny; puppet
  • Find the VH window: like, made
  • Segment and blend: like, made
  • Sight words: blue; just


Link the KMP to the window; it is a phonemic awareness or listening experience. It’s not the spelling or the name of the vowel; it’s the sound. For example, students  identify the same window as they listen for words that have the  _a-e sound, such as play, ate, mail, and came.

Once, children are comfortable choosing the correct window, introduce “other ways to spell” the vowel sound.

Review the markings on the VH window. A solid line after the vowel (~a__) means that a consonant or consonants has to be there (cap, send, the boat).  The wavy line means a letter could be there, but does not have to be (man or an).

Throughout The Week

  • Choose various words from the weekly poem
    • Identify vowel
    • Do KMP for vowel
    • Locate the corresponding window
  • Choose 3-5 words daily from vowel focus of the week
    • Clap out word
    • Say and stretch word slowly from shoulder to fingertips
    • Segment into onset/rime
    • Segment into component sounds
    • Identify vowel
    • Locate the corresponding window
  • Independent Work: Individual sorts with particular vowel focus from Scope and Sequence. (See sample sheets Masters 2, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, VH Section in manual.)
  • Individual word hunts for the focused sounds (Language Calendar, Reading, Poems, Journals).

Throughout The Month

  • Choose words from poems
  • Remember to ask, “What do you hear?” and “Show me!” (asking for the KMP).
  • Point out sounds in poems
  • Highlight a similarity or difference in vowel sounds while writing on Language Calendar, such as the /ee/ sound with different spellings (seen, he)
  • Contrast some alternate spellings we have developed (-igh, _y for /i-e/; ___ y for /ee/; ~ea for /ee/; _____a or a____ for /u/; ~ eigh for a-e)
  • Use KMPs continually (short and long vowels; bread vs. each)

  • long o-e window (primary spelling)
  • Generate list of words (whole group) with the o-e spelling
  • Give clues to get the words you want.  (e.g. You talk on this- (phone); You need this to water the grass- (hose); A kind of clothing you wear over your pajamas- (robe);
  • You can eat ice cream in a – ____(cone)
  • Write words on vowel house window shutters, grouping similar patterns together.
  • After you have 5 or 6 entries, identify the vowel pattern in the words
  • Highlight and circle the pattern of o_e.  Review that there must be a letter on the line.
  • Clap each word
  • Circle the spelling
  • Discuss that there must be a letter between the o and the e
  • Use Master 11
  • Students record 8-10 words, adding two of their own.
  • Children can illustrate some words
  • oa for long /o/
  • Use Master 6 page 22 of VH or Master 11 page 28
  • Write o_e spelling in the box.  Then generate list of words (whole group) that fit the new alternate spelling.
  • Give clues (What do you wear outside when it is cold (coat); Another word for a ship is a (boat); An animal like a frog that lives on land is a (toad); You buy a (loaf) of bread; A baby horse is a (foal)). Record them. .
  • Discuss that ~oa_ is another way to spell long o-e
    When finished, give students words with both ~oa_ and ~ o-e patterns and Master 13.
  • Write each spelling at the top of each house ~o-e_ and~oa_ .  Give students a word list and they place the words in the correct house.
  • Clap each word
  • Circle the spelling
  • Use Master 6 or Master 11
  • Students record 8-10 words, adding 2 of their own
  • Follow-up worksheet Master 13
  • ow for long /o/
  • Use same procedures from above.
  • Use different clues to generate the list.  For example, in the winter we get lots of -(snow); When you play with bubbles you have to- (blow) to make a bubble; when you cut the grass, you -(mow); Mary has a (bow) in her hair.
  • -ow is another way to spell the long  ~o_e sound.
  • Clap each word
  • Circle the spelling
  • Use Master 6 or 11
  • Students record words and illustrate
  • ___ow, ~oa_, and o-e words
  • Use Master 12 page 29
  • Record the ways to spell the o_e sound.  Record the alternate spellings on worksheet.
  •  Hunt for words that have alternate spellings for the long /o/ sound. Record them around the house on the master.  Circle the spelling.
  • Clap each word
  • KMP for each vowel
  • Use Master 14 as follow-up.
  • Students add 1 more word for each spelling.


Week 28

o_e spelling


phone, note, rode, robe, bone
hose, smoke, nose, home, hole
joke, stone, globe

Week 29

oa for o_e


boat, coat, loan, toast, toad
goat, loaf, road, float, soap
oak, throat

Week 30

__ow for o-e


blow, bow, below, mow, grow,
show, slow, know, pillow
window, snow

Week 31

Sort all 3 spellings ~ oa__; __ow; __o_e

See lists above

Monthly Tip for Engaging Parents

Hello March!

Reading and rereading are so important. Set a time to work with the different poems that come home. Use them to discuss different spellings  for the long/o/ sound: rode, road, and snow.  Highlight rhyming words.  Are they spelled with the same way?

Highlight words that are common in our everyday reading and writing, such as: here, come, guess, through, there, about, down.  These words are sight words. We just need to know them!

Discuss signs of Spring with your child. Use the language of blossom, sprout, season, along with identifying flowers that are emerging. Examples are the daffodil, crocus, hyacinth, tulip, bulb, azalea, forsythia, and rhododendron.

Plant a tulip bulb and watch it grow. Talk about parts of the plant – roots, leaves, stem, blossoms. Label the parts.

Learning opportunities are everywhere.  When you label, talk about how letters work as teams: /oo/ /ea/.  Explain why we use -s and the end of words. Shared experiences empower your child. They allow them to see that language is real and that you know tons about how it works.

Have a great month!

The Phonics in Motion team

Questions: support@phonicsinmotion.com