AAAAA! I'm Scared!


Pearson Mathews

Beginning Reading Design



In order for children to become fluent readers they must learn their letters and the corresponding phonemes. Phonemes are vocal gestures a person hears in a spoken word. Children must be able to blend words beginning with the vowel sound, then the body and coda. The following lesson will assist students in discovering the a =/a/ correspondence.  Students will also learn to recognize /a/ in spoken words through repetition and assessment.



- Picture of the Home Alone AAAAAA! (one for each student)

- Chart paper with chant

-Letter Boxes

-Word cards with CAB, FLAP, TRAP, DAD, BAT, AT, and PAT

- Decodable book A Cat Nap by Sheila Cushman

- Primary paper

- Pencils

- An assessment worksheet that focuses on short /a/





1.The lesson will be introduced by me asking "What sound does a person make when they are scared? I will pick up the picture of the scared boy in Home Alone and demonstrate his hand gestures (hands flat on cheeks, eyes wide open, and mouth like an oval) and the sound that we make when we are AAAAA! Scared! I will model this until everyone in the class understands the motion of our mouths/hands and the sound that a= /a/ makes.

2.I will introduce a tongue twister using the a= /a/. I will first say the tongue twister to the students "Allie the Alligator went on an AAAAAA! Scarey Adventure!" I want everyone to say it normal once then repeat it stretching out the a = /a/  sound:

"Aaaaaalie the Aaaaaalligator went on an AAAAAA! Scarey Aaaaadventure"

3.Let's practice looking for the /a/ sound in some words.  Do you hear /a/ in MAT or MEN? TAP or BED?  FLAT or FEED?  Make sure all of the student understand then do another assessment by having the students put their hands on their cheeks and their mouths open like they were scared if the hear /a/ in: CAB, FUN, FLAP, TRAP, BED, DAD, BAT, AT, and PAD.

4.Everyone take out their letter boxes and letters. I am going to read some words and I want you to spell them using your letter boxes." Make sure that you go over the rules of letter boxes before you have your students begin spelling the words. Model an example for yours students using the word crab. Crab c r a b. Show your students your letterbox word on the overhead.  "Now I want you to spell some words for me." At, an, hat, sam, bat, nap, cat, jam, brat). Walk around the room and help the children that need help. After everyone has finished model the correct spelling on the overhead for the children using your letter boxes. After the students have finished spelling their words I am then going to place the words on the overhead projector and have students read the words aloud.Next do a letter box lesson first using 2 letter boxes: at, an then 3: cab, bat, tan, mad and then 4: sand, flap, band.  Once you have completed the letter box lesson and you are sure each of the students understand and are able to find the short /a/ use the flash cards and have the students read them aloud as you hold them up.  If they are having trouble with words go back to the letter box lesson and work through some more short /a/ words. 


5.Next the children will read A Cat Nap. While we read, we will point out the words with the short "a" sound. I will also give a Book Talk

Tab is a fat cat that likes to nap In funny places. He naps In a bag and he naps a lot. One day he fell asleep in his owner's bag, his owner is named Sam. they go to the ball park and I don't think Sam knows Tab is in his bag. What do you think is going to happen?


6.To access the child give them a worksheet with pictures on it and below the pictures there will be a list of words. Student should say what each picture is and then the word that matches the pictures. Then they should color all the pictures that have the /a/ sound in them.  


- A Cat Nap, Carson, CA: Educational Insights, 1990.

- Worksheet:

 -Vernon, Kayla. (2009). Apples and Alligators: Beginning Lesson Design. Journey.


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