Scary AAAAA!


Beginning Reading Design

By: Davis Snider




For a child to become a fluent reader, they must understand that letters represent phonemes. Phonemes are vocal gestures a person hears in a spoken word. They must also be able to map out spellings of phonemes in spoken words. You will start to see a child's development in reading, as children begin to recognize phonemes. The following lesson will assist students in discovering the a =/a/ correspondence.  Students will also learn to recognize /a/ in spoken words.



-  Picture of the home alone AHHHHH! (one per a student)

-  Worksheet with the following pictures: apple, airplane, cookies , keys, flowers, arrows, ax, computer

-  Decodable book A Cat Nap by Sheila Cushman, Rona Kornblum Educational Insights

-  Primary paper

-  Pencils



1.    I will introduce the lesson by saying "What sound does a person make when they are scared?" While asking this, I will hold up a picture of a boy screaming. The student should answer me by saying "/a/." If they don't know or don't get it right I will model for them the /a/ sound. As I am modeling I will put my hands on my face like I am screaming.

2.    Now I will tell the student " A person screaming is not the only thing that makes the /a/ sound. We can find the /a/ sound in many words.

3.    Now I am going to read to you a few words and each time you hear the /a/ sound I want you to put your hands on your face like you are scared. Ok I'll do it with you first time. (You should mix up the words and make sure you don't have the /a/ sound in all of them).

Example words:

-  Cat

-  Bug

-  Apple

-  Alligator

-  Tree

4.    "Now I am going to read a tongue twister to you, and I want you to make a screaming face every time you hear the /a/ sound, but I am not going to do it with you this time." You should watch the student while reading the sentence to make sure they are getting the /a/ sound. If they aren't still finish the sentence before you correct them. If you have to correct them go back and model it with them. Then do it a third time and see if they can do it solo. Watch the student to see if they understand.

" Ally the Alligator acted like she was napping."

5.    "This time when we read the sentence we will stretch out the /a/ sound. Open your mouth wide like you are scream aaaahhh to stretch the sounds out. It might sound funny but it will be fun. Lets do it together:"

"Aaaally the Aaaalligaaaator aaaacted like she waaaas naaaapping"

6.    Now you need a pencil and paper. "We are going to work on writing the letter a. Start at the rooftop, go down the slide to the sidewalk and cross at the fence." Make five more.

7.    Now you will introduce the book A Cat Nap with a book talk.  "This book is about a cat named Tab. Tab likes to nap a lot. He Takes a nap in his owners nag. Lets read and find out what happens to Tab." Your student will read the book A Cat Nap and have the student put their hands on their face every time they hear the /a/ sound in the book.

8.    To access the child give them a worksheet with pictures on it and below the pictures there will be a list of words. Student should say what each picture is and then the word that matches the pictures. Then they should color all the pictures that have the /a/ sound in them.  




A Cat Nap, Carson, CA: Educational Insights, 1990.


"Cry Baby". Emergent Literacy Design: Cindy Burbie.




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