Cassie Grieb
Beginning Reading
Helping a Rat

Rationale: To learn to manipulate sounds in words by hearing syllables and blending them together.  Before students are able to blend phonemes accurately they must have experience with isolating phonemes.  Books can provide meaningful ways for students to enhance their phonemic awareness.

Materials: chalkboard; chalk; Hooway For Wodney Wat (Scholastic, Lester, Helen, 1999); cards shaped as rats with beginning letters of r, m, p, c, w, l, t, b, on some and ending of others such as at, ake, est.  Students will use cards to decode and blend words from the story, Pat’s Jam (Educational Insight, 1990).

1. Read the story Hooway For Wodney Wat.  Discuss the problem Wodney had and explain how we can help him with his problem.
2. Write the word wat on the chalkboard.  Can you say this word with me wat.  What happens if we take the /w/ sound off the word, what does the word say now? At
3. Show cards with at, can you find the card that says /r/?  Now if we put the /r/ and the at together what word have we made? Continue to blend sounds together to make hat, mat, sat, pat, cat, etc.
4. Encourage student to decode more words from the story.  Do you remember what Rodney told the other rats to do with the leaves (show picture from book)?  Write wake on chalkboard.  He told them to wake the leaves.  But let’s see if we can help him out.  Say wake, now say it without the /w/ sound.  Show card with ake.  What sound do you think we could add to ake to help Rodney out?  Blend /r/ and ake together with the cards.  Continue blending sounds to spell lake, take, make, bake, etc.
5. Show picture from the book and ask what do you think Rodney wanted the rodents to do.  That’s right, he wanted them to rest but instead he said west.  Write west on chalkboard.  Can you say west without the /w/ sound?  Use cards to blend words rest, nest, best, and test.
6. Reread the story trying to help Rodney by blending the right sounds together to make the story different.
7. Assess student by evaluating whether he/she can decode the words in the story and blend to make new words that fit in the story.
8. Provide student with the decodable book Pat’s Jam to read.  Give book talk as follows: This is a story about another rat named Pat.  Pat knows how to drive a van and loves to eat ham.  Let’s read the story and see where Pat goes in his van.

Reference: Eldredge, J. (1995).  Teaching Decoding in Holistic Classrooms (page 177). Prentice-Hall, Inc.

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