Ashley's Apples


Laura Earl


Beginning Reading


Rationale: Children need lots of explicit and systematic phonics instruction in order to be able to read.  Beginning readers need to know that words are made of sounds.  They also need to know which letters make each sound. Because all words contain vowels, it is usually best to begin teaching vowels. It is easier to teach short vowels because they are most commonly found in words with only one vowel.  This lesson will focus on a = /a/.  Students will review the short a sound, and then the students will practice spelling and reading words with the /a/ sound.

Materials: Class set of Elkonin boxes
Class set of letter manipulatives
Overhead Elkonin boxes and letter manipulatives (a,b,c,d,g,k,l,m,n,p,r,s,t)
Class set of A Cat Nap by Educational Insights
Sentence strip with tongue twister

1. Introduce the lesson: "Today we are going to be learning about the short vowel A and the sound that it makes. Every time you see an /a/ in a word, you will make the sound of a crying baby. I want everyone to act like a baby, ready, aaahhhh, Good! We need to know about this sound because we use it all the time.
2. Introduce the tongue twister to the students. Hold up a sentence strip: "Ok, now lets say the tongue twister together: Ashley gave her alligators apples after they asked nicely.
3. Using the overhead and the letter manipulatives, ask the students to name words with that sound in them and model the way to sound out the sounds in the words to the class. "Who can give me a word that has a crying baby sound? Good, nap. Now, if I was going to spell that word, I would listen to the sounds, /n/, /aaaaaa/ (thereās our sound), and /p/." Practice more words using the Elkonin boxes.
4. "Now I want all of you to get out your boxes and letters and we are all going to practice a few words." Have the students leave their letters on their boards and then check the spelling. Start with three phoneme words, then move to four and five phonemes. [s] [a] [d]     [l] [a] [p]   [b] [a] [ck]                                        [g] [l] [a] [d]  [l] [a] [m] [p]     [s] [t] [r] [a] [n] [d]
5. "Now I am going to spell back a few words to you. If you know what word Iām spelling, raise your hand and you can answer." Without using the boxes, spell out the words to make sure they can really spell them.
6. With the book A Cat Nap, get into small groups or partners with children and have the students read the book aloud. They can assess each other by grading each other on reading speed, expression, and knowing more words

Assessment:  For an assessment, have a picture sheet made out with lots of different pictures using different sounds and have the students circle the pictures with the /a/ sound in their name. Have pictures of apples, alligators, desks, lamp, shirt.


Eldredge, J. Lloyd. (1995) Teaching Decoding in Holistic Classrooms. New
Jersey: Prentice Hall, 54-57.

Alison Bradley: Excellent E!!:

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