Bryant Foreman
Emergent Literacy

Adam, Abby, and the Stolen Apple

        To read and write words, children need to build a strong foundation by learning phonemes.  Once letter recognition is learned, children need to build on their phoneme recognition.  Since letters represent phonemes, spellings map out phonemes in spoken words.  Short vowels are hard to identify since the letter does not say its name.  This lesson will help children identify /a/ (short a), which is one of the short vowels.  Children will learn to recognize /a/ in spoken words by acquiring a meaningful representation, learning the letter symbol, and then practicing by finding /a/ in words.

· Primary paper and pencil
· Poster with a big colorful tree. (Big enough for the entire class to see).
· Poster with the title of the lesson and the tongue twister “Adam with the cap was mad and Abby with the hat was sad because a cat had grabbed the last apple in their bag and ran away.” (Big enough for entire class to read).
· Red Apple shaped card stock with words that contain /a/ (short a) and non /a/ words. (Ex. hat, bat, cat, mat, map, clap, tap, ant, apple, lamp); (hen, pen, end, rug, lane, made).
· Magic marker to write the words on the apple shapes.
· Velcro pieces with fuzzy side to put on the back of the apple shapes containing the /a/ words and the rough side on the tree. (Nothing on the non /a/ words).
· Pictures that represent /a/ words. (Ex. apple, ant, hat, bat)
· Chalk and chalkboard
· Cards for every student with an “a” on one side and a “no” on the other
· Drawing paper and crayons
· Picture page with pictures of various simple objects
· Cat’s Nap (Educational Insights)

1. Explain to children that written language is like a code, the tricky part is learning what letters stand for.  The tricky part is that sometimes a letter we see makes a sound different than what we might expect.  Looking at the moves of our mouths will help us break the code.  For example, the letter a can say /A/; however, the letter a can also say /a/.  We call this short a.  Can everyone say /a/ with me? (Students will repeat a few times).  Great Job!

2. Ask students: Did you ever hear a baby cry?  A baby cries like /a/.  When the baby is hungry, it opens its mouth screaming /a/ because it could want some applesauce.  That is the mouth move we need to say /a/.  Hold up a picture of an apple.  Now let’s all say /a/ together.  Write the word apple on the board and have class say word together.  Repeat with other pictures.

3. Let’s try a tongue twister (on poster).  “Adam with the cap was mad and Abby with the hat was sad because a cat had grabbed the last apple in their bag and ran away.” Everybody say it two times together.  Now say it again, but this time stretch the /a/ in the words.  “Aaadam with the caaap was maaad aaand Aaabby with the haaat was saaad because a caaat haaad graaabbed the laaast aaaple in their baaag aaand raaan away.” Try it again, but this time break apart the /a/ from the rest of the word.  “/a/dam  with  the  c/a/p  was  m/a/d  /a/nd  /a/bby  with  the  h/a/t  was  s/a/d  because  a  c/a/t  h/a/d  gr/a/bbed  the  l/a/st  /a/pple  in  their  b/a/g  /a/nd  r/a/n  away.” Excellent work.

4. [Have students take out primary pencil and paper].  We can use the letter a to spell /a/.  Let’s practice writing it.  I will model it for you first:
· Start a little under the fence
· Curve up and touch the fence
· Go towards the left window and draw a curve down to the sidewalk
· Curve over and back up to the fence where you started from
· Without lifting your pencil, draw straight down to the sidewalk.
[Model each instruction given].  I want to see everybody’s a.  After I check it and put a sticker on your paper for your good work, I want you to write the letter a five more times just like it.  When you see the letter a all by itself in other words, you will now know what mouth move and signal to say.

5. Ask students to answer and tell how they knew by saying /a/ or no after every word.  Model first.  Do you hear the /a/ sound in Big (answer: no) or Bag? (answer: /a/)  I want everyone to do the same when I say the words.  Do you hear /a/ in cat or dog?  apple or orange?  bat or ball? art or math?  glass or cup?  bath or shower? front or back?  bad or good?  before or after?  [Pass out the a/? cards to every student].  Hold up and show me the “a” if you hear /a/ or the “no” if you do not hear the /a/.  “Adam, with, the, cap, was, mad, and, Abby, with, the, hat, was, sad, because, a, cat, had, grabbed, the, last, apple, in, their, bag, and, ran, away.”

6. Sing a song to the tune of “Skip to my Lou, my Darling” but change the words to the following:
                Who has a word that has an /a/?
                Has, has, has an /a/?
                Who has a word that has an /a/?
                Skip to my Lou, my darling!

                (One possible example: map)
                Map is a word that has an /a/.
                Has, has, has an /a/.
                Map is a word that has an /a/.
                Skip to my Lou my darling!
Teacher will read Cat’s Nap and talk about the story.  Read the story again and have the children raise their hands or write the words in a list, then raise their hands telling you the /a/ words they noticed.  List the words they chose on the board.  Have the students write about one of the words on the board and draw a picture of it as well.  Display their good word.  Invented spelling is fine.

7. For the assessment, pass out the picture page and help students name each picture.  Have students circle the names of the pictures that contain the /a/ sound and have them color only those pictures with the /a/ sound.

· Cushman. Cat’s Nap. Educational Insights, Carson, 1990.

· Eldredge, J. Lloyd. Teaching Decoding in Holistic Classrooms. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Inc.1995, Ch. 5: 50-70.

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