AAAAAAAA! An Alligator!


Brittain Miller

Emergent Literacy Design


Rationale: In order to become good, fluent readers, students must learn that the alphabet is like a special code. Phoneme instruction is essential to this. Each student should know that letters are representations of sounds or mouth movements. Short vowels are a particularly hard concept for younger children. For this lesson, I will introduce the /a/ (short a) sound. I want students to give this sound a meaningful name, be able to find it in words, and be able to identify the sound or mouth movement

Materials: Primary paper, Pencils, Chart with „AAAA! An alligator is after Alvin and Allison!š
    Picture of an alligator, Cards saying map, fan, dad, bat, and cab
    Decodable book A Cat Nap by Sheila Cushman, Rona Kornblum Educational Insights
    Crayons and paper

Procedure: 1.  Introduction of lesson: I will explain that all the letters of the alphabet are part of a special code. When we are writing or reading, we are using the different letters which make their own special sounds or mouth movements. These sounds are represented by letters. The hard part about it is matching the right mouth move with the correct letter. In this lesson we will be working with the mouth movement /a/. The letter őa‚ makes the sound, or mouth move /a/. This mouth move can be found scattered through all types of words and different places as well. We are going to find this /a/ sound and figure out just when to use it mouth movement.
2.  Ask the students: Have you ever seen a scary alligator? If you haven‚t, how would you feel? What if you came home and found one sitting on your bed? If I saw an alligator on my bed I‚ll tell you what I would do. I would yell Aaaaaaaaaaaa!! An alligator! Now listen to what I said. Let‚s stretch out the words and see if I can hear the /a/ sound. I want you to listen. Now I want you to say it. Good. This time I am going to say it but stretch out the /a/ sound really long. /Aaaaaaaaaaaaaa/ /Aaaaaaaaaan/ /Aaaaaaaaaaligator/.  Did you hear the /a/ sound? Now let‚s do that together. Good job. The short /a/ is the Aaaaaaa! Alligator! sound.
3.  Now we are going to practice with a tongue twister. Everybody look at the chart. „Aaaaaaaaa! An alligator is after Alvin and Allison!š Let‚s say that together. Good. Let‚s say it once again. Good. Now this time I want to stretch it out like we did before. I want to really hear the /a/ sound. Listen to me. „Aaaaaaaaaa! Aaaaaaan aaaaaaaalligator is aaaaaaafter Aaaaaaalvin aaaaaaaand Aaaaaaalison.š Now lets try it together. Good. Now let‚s break it down. I want you to say the /a/ sound separately. Listen to me. /aaaaa/h /a/n /a/lligator is /a/fter /a/lvin /a/nd /a/llison. Now lets try together. Very good.
4.  Next I will have the student take out a sheet of primary paper and pencil. I will ask them to write the letter they believe the /a/ sound is represented by. I will tell them it‚s őa‚ and write it on the board. Now I want us to write it together. (Demonstrate on board). Go around and check the papers. Have the students write őa‚ a few more times. Good. This is what makes the „Aaaaaaa! An Alligator!š sound.
5.  Take flash cards and ask the children if they spot the letter a in the word. Next ask the students a series of questions. Do you hear /a/ in lap or lip? Pat or pet? Apple or plum? Before or after? Next I want to play a quick game. Whenever you hear the /a/ sound I want everyone to make their mean alligator faces. Do one practice sentence.
6.  Introduce the book A Cat Nap. Tell your students that everytime they hear the /a/ sound you want them to make their mean alligator faces. After finishing the story, pass out the crayons and paper. Have the students draw a picture of an alligator. Have them write what their parents would say if they brought home a pet alligator.


Assessment:  For assessment, look at the written letter on the primary paper. Also, when they are working on their pictures, go around individually and have them say the /a/ sound, tell what letter it represents, and have them identify the sound in a few words.


References: Hensley, Melissa. „The Icky Indianš The Reading Genie

Murray, B.A., & Lesniak, T. (1999). The Letterbox Lesson: A hands-on approach for teaching decoding. The Reading Teacher, 644-650


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