The Crying Baby Says AAAAA!

Trista Loggins

Beginning Readers


Rationale: It is extremely important that beginning readers know that letters stand for phonemes and that phonemes are the spoken sounds in words. This lesson will help children to recognize the sound of a = /a/. It is important to give the students a way to connect the grapheme to the phoneme. They will practice spelling words with the /a/ sound with letterbox lessons.



A picture of a crying baby to represent /a/

Tongue Tickler on paper "Adam is at the apple store."

Letterbox and tile letters for each student.

Word list for letterbox lesson and for flashcards (2 - [at, al] 3 - [sat, pad, mat, dad sag, bat, tag, rack] 4 - [ramp])

Reading Genie book, Dad's Lost Hat by Bridgett Wilson

Assessment word list: hat, bash, clamp, sank, trash, rash, sat

clipboard for assessment



1. Today we are going to learn about what sound the letter a makes and practice with a few words. When you make the /a/ sound your mouth will look like a baby's mouth does when it cries.  When we make the /a/ sound your tongue stays flat on the bottom of your mouth and your lips should never touch. A crying baby makes a /a/ noise. I want everyone to say /a/ like me. AAAA. Very good, that is the sound that a makes.  When you see an a I want you to pretend that you are a crying baby making the /a/ sound while putting your hands over your eyes and crying!


2. Now let's look at this tongue tickler together, "Adam is at the apple store." I'm going to say it first, and then I want you to repeat after me.  Okay, we're going to say it one more time, only this time I want you to stretch out the a sound like the crying baby and do your hand motions.  Aaaaadam is aaaat the aaaaapple store.


3. Now I'm going to pass out the letters and letterboxes for further practice. I will begin the lesson by first modeling how to do the letterbox lesson.  Watch me and I will show you how to make a word using your letterboxes.  If I want to spell the word rat I'm going to use three letterboxes because I hear three different sounds in rat /r/ /a/ /t/.  I will then put one letter or sound in each box.  Now, we are going to spell some words that have the /a/ sound in them.  Go ahead and organize your letters and have two letterboxes showing.  I want you to spell the word at.  Check all the students' spellings.  If they have misspelled the word pronounce the word that they have put down and then say the word you are looking for.  Do this using all of the words listed.  Now I will show you some words written on cards, I want you to say them aloud as I turn them over.  Go through all of the cards allowing the students to say the words aloud again.


4. Next I will introduce the book, Dad's Lost Hat by Bridgett Wilson. I will tell the students that a little boy lost his dads hat. He saw his dog run after the hat to bring it back. Then the boy lost both, his dog and his dad's hat. I want you to read the rest of the book to find out if the little boy gets the dog and hat back and what happens next.


5.  To assess what the students have learned I will give each of them a word off of the assessment word list and ask them to say it for me.  I will use a checklist to make sure I know which ones understand a = /a/ and who needs more practice.



 Aaaah- The Baby is Crying by Laura Davis

Reading Genie Book, Dad's Lost Hat, Bridgett Wilson

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