Abby's Apple

Lauren Emily Shipman

Beginning Reading Design 

Rationale.  This lesson will help children identify /a/, the phoneme represented by the letter a. Students will learn to recognize /a/ in verbal or spoken words. Students will comprehend the connection by focusing on how the mouth moves when saying the sound. They will also grasp this with the letterbox lesson.


1.) Primary Paper
2.) Pencils
3.) An Explanation paper to show the phoneme /a/ and tongue twister:  "Abby's apple sat at the cat's nap''
4.) Letter boxes
.) Letter tiles

6.) Pat's Jam (Phonics Readers)
7.) Word cards with Bat, Nap, And, Sad, Tab, Mat, Flat, Apple, and Flag
8.) Assessment worksheet


1.  Explain that every letter has a sound.  We're going to work on short /a/.  We spell the sound /a/ with the letter a. Show student picture of an apple with the letter a on the apple.

2.  Talk with students about how the letter: a at the beginning of the word: apple says /a/.  Now let's stretch out the beginning of the word. Notice how you open your mouth wide when you say /a/ just as if you were going to bite into it.

3. Let's do a tongue tickler to see if we can hear all the /a/’s.  "Abby's apple sat by the cat's nap."  Now you say it.  Now we're going to say it again, and this time we're going to stretch out the /a/ at the start of the tickler.  "Aaaaaaaabby's aaaaapple saaaaat by the caaaat’'s naaaaap.''

 4. To be convinced that the students can recognize the /a/ in spoken words ask them to point out which word out of the two they hear the sound /a/. Do you hear /a/ in tag or bug?  Do you hear /a/ in boat or sack?  Red or mat?  Jack or pot?   

5.  Next, begin the letterbox lessons.  Ask you student to spell the word bat. Tell them that they have four letterboxes that will go along with each mouth move or sound they will make. Say it a bit slower and stretch it out so that they can hear which letters they need to put in each box. The first sound I hear is /b/, so you know to start with the letter b.  Then you hear /a/, so that's an a.  Next you hear /t/, so you know you will need an t. Now you have spelled out the word bat.  Start with two letterboxes and move up.  Spell the words Bat, Nap, And, Sad, Tab, Mat, Flat, Apple, and Flag

6.  After the students have spelled out the words using the letterboxes, bring out the index cards with the words spelled out correctly.  Hold up the cards for each student to read aloud making sure they can spell AND read the same words.

7.  Lastly,  give the student Pat's Jam and give a small book talk. For example, This book tells us about two mice named Pat and Pam. They go to the grocery story to get some jam. What do you think they are going to do with all that jam? Read Pat's Jam to find out!

Ask the students if they can think of any other words with the sound /a/.  Ask them to write a silly sentence using three or four words that begin with /a/.  Have  students explain their sentence and present their work.

Pat's Jam.  Phonics readers.


Return to the Adventures index.