The Cry Baby

Melissa Jackson
Emergent Reading

This lesson will help children learn the /a/ sound (short a). They will know how to write the letter (a) and associate its phoneme in a spoken word.  This is very important to emergent literacy training. Children need to know the specific sounds that relate to each written word.  This helps them become efficient readers. We will also discuss the mouth moves of the letter (a).  By the end of the lesson the child should be able to recognize the phoneme /a/ in spoken words and in written text.

-picture of the letter “a”
-“Alice sells apples every afternoon to Alex.” (on a poster)
-paper and pencils
-chalkboard and chalk
-pictures of an alligator, apple, hat, and cat (the word should be written under each picture)
-book: A Cat’s Nap
-paper and crayons for drawing pictures of /a/ words.

1. Today class we are going to learn the first letter of the alphabet. It is the letter “a”. (show a picture of the letter “a”)  I will also model how to write the letter (a).  Do any of you have a little baby brother or sister? Then you probably hear them cry a lot. What does the crying sound like? (“aaaaaaa”) The letter “a” makes the /a/ sound which is the crying baby sound. Your mouth is in an open position with your tongue at the bottom of your mouth. Everyone make this sound together. Look at what my mouth and tongue are doing.

2. (written on poster) Now I will show you a sentence: “Alice sells apples every afternoon to Alex.” What is funny about this sentence? This sentence has many words that start with /a/.  Lets all say it together three times. Stretch out the /a/ sound at each word that starts with /a/. (machine gun the phoneme /a/)  ”Aaaalice sells aaaaples every aaaaftemoon to Aaaalex.” Good job!  Does everyone hear the crying baby sound? Now break off the /a/ sound at the beginning of each word. Like this: “/a/ lice sells /a/ pples every /a/ fternoon to /a/ lex.”

3. Now we are going to practice writing the letter “a”. (get out paper and pencils)
Remember that we start a word from the left to the right.  The letter “a” starts right under the fence, curve around until it touches the grass and goes up to the fence. Then go back through to the grass again. Now lets practice this on our paper. After about three minutes, I will ask a child to come up and model the letter “a”. Wow, that is a great “a”!

4. I will show four pictures of things that start with or have the letter “a” in the word. (apple, alligator, cat, hat)  Now I will say the word apple.  Tell me if you hear the /a/ sound. “aaaapple” Class, we are now going to say these words together and recognize the /a/ sound.  What is the /a/ sound again? (“aaaaaa”) Good!  The sound your baby brother or sister makes when they cry.  Where is the /a/ in apple?  Where is the /a/ in alligator?  Where is the /a/ in cat?  Where is the /a/ in hat?

5. Oh, look we have a visitor in our classroom.  Who is this?  It is Alligator Alice.  Alligator Alice only likes things that sound like a crying baby.  She lost her baby alligator and she is trying to find her.  Therefore, Alligator Alice goes around her house to find her lost baby.  Do you think Alligator Alice could find her baby in the tub?  Why do you think she might be in the bath tub?  The word bath makes the crying baby sound.  Then Alligator Alice goes to the kitchen.  Do you think she can find her baby in the kitchen?  The word kitchen does not have the crying baby sound /a/.  I will go around to different places in Alligator Alice’s house to see if her baby could be there.  (poster of the layout of Alligator Alice’s house)

6. I will read aloud A Cat’s Nap and discuss it with the students.  Did anyone see any /a/ sounding words?  Well we are going to read it again. This time, cry like a baby if you hear the sound /a/.  Then have each student write all the words on their paper and then discuss them with the whole class.

7. For an assessment I will have the children draw four pictures of things that have the /a/ sound.  then they will describe their pictures to their neighbor.


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