Baa Baa…I’m Pam the Lamb

Beginning Reading
Jenna Goodwin

This lesson will focus on the vowel correspondence a = /a/. Students will be able to listen for the /a/ sound, how to distinguish the /a/ sound in spoken words, and identify and decode the /a/ sound in written text.  Students will also learn that vowels are important because they are found in every word that is in the English language.

Sound/Spelling card of letter a with picture of lamb.
Primary paper/ pencil
Dry erase marker
Card stock with list of words: am, hat, at, met, sat, tip, fat, men, lap, top, eat, pot, put, has pop, fan.
Book A Cat Nap
Large poster with the lamb story written on it
Book/worksheet (the rat story)

Sound of the letter a:  
1.  Introduce the lesson by telling the students today we are going to learn about a special  letter called a vowel.  Vowels are special because there are no words in the English language without a vowel.  Today we are going to learn that the letter a makes the /a/ sound.

2.  Show the letter a that is on the sound/spelling card. Explain that vowels are also important because every vowel has a long and a short sound.  Remind them that sometimes a vowel can say its own name and that name is called the long sound.

3.  Now we will learn the short sound of the letter a, which is the sound that you here in the middle of lamb (show picture of the lamb on picture card).  Remind the children that picture of the lamb is a clue to help them remember the letter sound, and at the bottom of the card shows the spelling of the sound in words.  

4.  Next tell the children to listen for /a/ and to think about the picture of the lamb will remind them of the sound.  Read the lamb story:
    I’m Pam the Lamb, I am.    
    This is how I tell my Mommy where I am: /a/ /a/ /a/ /a/ /a/ /a/.
    I’m Pam the Lamb, I am.
    This is how I tell my Daddy where I am:  /a/ /a/ /a/ /a/ /a/ /a/.
    I’m Pam the Lamb, I am.
    That young ram is my brother Sam.
    This is how I tell my brother where I am:  /a/ /a/ /a/ /a/ /a/ /a/.
    I’m Pam the Lamb; I’m happy where I am.
    Can you help me tell my family where I am?
    (have children respond:)  /a/ /a/ /a/ /a/ /a/ /a/.

Listening for the /a/ sound in words:
1.  Tell the children that you are going to read a list of words.  For each of the words, they need to repeat and give the thumbs up whenever they hear the /a/ sound in these words.

am        hat        at         met
sat        tip         fat        men
lap        top        eat        pot
put        has        pop      fan

Writing the letter a:

1.  On the chalkboard model writing the letter a.  Touch the letter and say /a/.

2.  Tell the children to take out the paper and pencil and have them practice writing the letter a several times saying /a/ each time.

Reading the letter a:
1.  Now we will work on reading words with the /a/ sound in the decodable text, A Cat Nap. Each child will get an individual copy of the book. Tell the children that they will be able to recognize the /a/ sound because they have done such a great job today with the vowel a.  The book that you are going to be reading is called A Cat Nap.  Tell them that cat nap is about a cat who loves to take naps. He naps in Sam's bag and Sam has to leave to go to baseball practice. He takes his bag with him with Tab the cat in there. To find out what happens next you will have to read the book.

2.  After you finish reading, I want you to write down at least three words that had the /a/ sound in them and we will discuss them when everybody gets finished.

3.  For an assessment I will have the children read the book/worksheet about the rat.  This contains a short story about a rat and also contains many words with she short /a/ sound.  Also at the end it shows pictures that allow the children to write in the missing letters.

Open Court Phonics Kit: Carl Bereiter 2000 pp. 67-68
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