Race for Cake!
Rationale: This lesson teaches children about the long vowel correspondence a_e = /A/. In order to be able to read, children must learn to recognize the spellings that map word pronunciations. In this lesson children will learn to recognize, spell, and read words containing the spelling a_e. They will learn a meaningful representation (picture of a cake), they will spell and read words containing this spelling in a Letterbox lesson, and read a decodable book that focuses on the correspondence a_e = /A/.
Materials: Graphic image of cake; cover-up critter; Elkonin boxes for modeling and individual Elkonin boxes for each student; letter manipulatives for each child and magnetic or smartboard letters for teacher: a, t, e, m, k, b, c, l, r, s, g, d; list of spelling words on poster or whiteboard to read: lake, late, cake, bake, race, gate, same, made; decodable text: Race for Cake, and assessment worksheet.
1. In order to become expert readers we need to learn the code that tells us how to pronounce words. We have already learned to read short vowel words with a, like tap, and today we are going to learn about long A and the silent e signal that is used to make A say its name, /A/. When I say /A/ I think of the sound I hear in one of my favorite desserts, cake. (Show image)
2. Say: Before we learn about the spelling of /A/, we need to listen for it in some words. When I listen for /A/ in words, I hear a say its name /A/ and my mouth opens wide almost like a smile, like this. [Make vocal gesture for /A/.] I'll show you first: game. I heard a say its name and I felt my mouth open wide and make a little smile. There is a long A in game. Now I'm going to see if it's in hat. Hmm, I didn't hear a say its name and my mouth didn't make the smile shape. Now you try. If you hear /A/ say, "Yay!" If you don't hear /A/ say, "That's not it." Is it in name, top, pants, tame, nose, pane? [Have children make the "smile" and open mouth wide].
3. Say: Now let's look at the spelling of /A/ that we'll learn today. One way to spell /A/ is with the letter a and a signal e at the end of the word to tell me to say A's name. [Write a_e on the board.] This blank line here means there is a consonant after a, and at the end of the word there is a little silent e signal. What if I want to spell the word bake? "I want to bake a cake for my mom's birthday." To spell bake in letterboxes, first I need to know how many phonemes I have in the word so I stretch it out and count: /b//A//k//e//. I need 3 boxes. I heard that /A/ just before the /k/ so I'm going to put an a in the second box and the silent e signal outside the last box. The word starts with /b/, that's easy; I need a b. Now it gets a little tricky so I'm going to say it slowly, /b//A//k//e//. I think I heard /k/ so I'll put a k right after the a.
4. Say: Now I'm going to have you spell some words in letterboxes. You'll start out easy with two boxes for ate. "I ate my entire lunch." What should go in the first box? [Respond to children's answers]. What goes in the second box? What about silent e, did you remember to put it outside the boxes? I'll check your spelling while I walk around the room. [Observe progress.] You'll need three letterboxes for the next word. Listen for the beginning sound that goes in the first box. Then listen for /A/ and don't forget to put the signal silent e at the end, outside the boxes. Here's the word: tape, I need tape to finish my project; tape. [Allow children to spell words.] It is time to check your work. Watch how I spell it in my letterboxes on the board: t - a - p - e and see if you've spelled it the same way. Try another with three boxes: rake; I need a rake to clean up the leaves. [Have volunteer spell it in the letterbox on the front board for children to check their work. Repeat this step for each new word.] Listen to see if this word has /A/ in it before you spell it: sack; carry this sack for me. Did you need a silent e? Why not? Right, because we don't hear a say its name. We spell it with our short vowel a. [Have volunteer spell it on the front board.] Did you remember to spell /k/ with a ck? Now let's try 4 phonemes: plane; the plane landed on the runway.
5. Say: Now I am going to let you read the words you've spelled, but first I'll show you how I would read a tough word. [Display poster with plane on the top and model reading the word.] First I see there's a silent e on the end; that's my signal that the vowel will say its name. There's the vowel a. It must say /A/. I'm going to use a cover-up to get the first part. [Uncover and blend sequentially before the vowel, then blend with the vowel.] /p//l/ = /pl/. Now I'm going to blend that with /A/ = /plA/. Now all I need is the end, /n/ = /plAn/. Plane; that's it. Now it's your turn, everyone together. [Have children read words in unison. Afterwards, call on individuals to read one word on the list until everyone has had a turn.]
6. Say: You've done a great job reading words with our new spelling for /A/: a_e. Now we are going to read a book called Race for Cake. This is a story of Jess and Ben who are swimming in a lake when they smell a cake their mom has just baked. Jess wants to race Ben to the house to eat the cake, but they run into some problems. Let's pair up and take turns reading Race for Cake to find out what happens. [Children pair up and take turns reading alternate pages while the teacher walks around the room monitoring progress. After individual paired reading, the class rereads Race for Cake aloud together, and stops between page turns to discuss the plot.]
7. Say: That was a fun story. What happened to Ben? Right, he fell and scraped his face. Did he get help and get a piece of cake? Yes, he did! Before we finish up with our lesson about one way to spell /A/ = a_e, I want to see how you can solve a reading problem. On this worksheet, you are given directions to color the long a words (/A/ = a_e) blue and the short a words (/a/ = a) gray. It will make a picture and you have to figure out what Ann and Abe are looking for, then you write your answer on the line. [Collect worksheets to evaluate individual child progress.]
Noie Yancey, Oh, Oh, My Knee Hurts: http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/invitations/yanceybr.htm
Murray, G. (2004) Race for Cake. Reading Genie: http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/bookindex.html
Assessment worksheet: http://www.free-phonics-worksheets.com/html/phonics_worksheet_v1-36.html
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