"/A/!" Hit by Hail






Lesson Design: Beginning Reading

Krista Doyle


Rationale: This lesson will help children identify /A/, the phoneme represented by ai.  Students will learn to recognize /A/ in spoken words by learning a meaningful representation (shouting in shock "/A/") and the grapheme ai, practice finding /A/ in words, and apply phoneme awareness with /A/ in phonetic cue reading by distinguishing words with similar vowel sounds.


Materials: Primary paper and pencil; letter boxes, letters: a, i, f, l, t, p, J, e, n, s, r., tongue twister on chart: "The Tailor failed to tail the frail snail.", Jane and Babe (Educational Insights, 1990) for all students; word cards with FAIL, TAIL, PAIL, JANE, and SNAIL, paper and crayons, assessment worksheet identifying pictures with /A/ (URL below).






1. Say: In our language there are times when two letters sound a lot a like, for example 'c' and 'k'. The tricky part is learning what letters stand for--the mouth moves we make as we say words. Today we're going to work on spotting the mouth move /A/. We can spell /A/ with letters ai.  /A/ makes the same sound as if you were yelling out of shock, "/A/!".


2. Practice with me, /A/, /A/, /A/. [Pantomime blocking something invisible you are about to get hit with] Notice how you shaped your mouth. When we say /A/, we are actually saying the letter name A.



3. Let me show you how to find /A/ in the word pail. I'm going to stretch pail out in super slow motion and listen for me saying the letter A. Pp-a-a-ail. Slower: Pp-a-a-a-i-l There it was! I felt my mouth say the letter A.  I can feel the /A / in pail.


4. Let's try a tongue twister [on chart]. "The Tailor failed to tail the frail snail." Everybody say it three times together. Now say it again, and this time, stretch the /h/ at the beginning of the words. "The T-aaa-i-l-oor f-aaa-i-l-ed to t-aaa-i-l the f-r-aaa-i-l s-n-aaa-i-l." Try it again, and this time break it off the word: "The T/A/lor f/A/led to t/A/l the fr/A/l sn/A/l."





5. [Have students take out primary paper and pencil]. We use letter ai to spell /A/. Let's write the lowercase letters ai. Start just below the fence and make a curve like you are about to write the letter o. When you get back to where you started on the fence, draw a straight line down. That's the letter a, but to make the /A/ sound, we must follow it with the letter i. Start at the fence again and draw a straight line until you get to the sidewalk, then put a dot over the top of your line. That is ai. I want to see everybody's ai. After you are done, I will come around and give you a star. Then practice writing five more.


6. Call on students to answer and tell how they knew: Do you hear /A/ in pail or pal? fail or fall? Fail or fall? Stan or stain? Mall or mail? Say: Let's see if you can spot the mouth move /A/ in some words. Put your hand on your head if you hear /A/: The, brainy, snail, tailed, the frail, chain.


7. Say: "Let's look a book called "Jane and Babe". In this book, we hear about a lady, Jane, who works with a lion named Babe. Put your hand on your head if you hear /A/" Ask the students to read it individually. Come around and ask children to say words with ai and draw out the /A/ sound.  Ask children if they can think of other words with /A/. Ask them to think of object that has the /A/ sound . Then have each student write the name of the object and draw a picture of their /A/ object. Display their work.


8. Show TAIL and model how to decide if it is tail or tall:  /A/, so this word is tt-aa-i-l, tail. You try some: PAIL: pail or pal? FAIL: fail or fall? STAIN: Stan or stain? MAIL: mall or mail?


 2-- [air], 3--[fail, tail, pail, Jane, mail], 4--[ stain, brain, chain, snail, frail], and 5--[spent].


9. For assessment, distribute the worksheet. Students are to color the pictures that contain with ai. Call students individually to read the phonetic cue words from step #8.



Bruce Murray.  Emergent Literacy Lesson. "Brush Your Teeth with F". http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/sightings/murrayel.html


"Jane and Babe" Educational Insights, Carson, CA (USA). 1990.


Assessment worksheet: http://www.free-phonics-worksheets.com/html/phonics_worksheet_v2-01.html




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