Beginning Reading Design

 Wade made lemonade in the shade.

Wade Thaxton

Rationale:    In order to become a good efficient reader it is important for beginning readers to be able to recognize that phonemes and letters correspond with each other. Through the knowledge gained in this activity, students will learn to recognize, spell, and read words that contain the correspondence a_e=/A/.


-          Single card with an /a/ printed on it

-  Word cards with the following words printed on it: car and care, fad and fade, made and mad, can and cane.

-  Poster with the statement written on it: Wade made lemonade in the shade

-          Letterboxes per student.

-  Letter manipulatives (a, t, e, m, l, c, k, n, b, r, v, s, d, r, p).

-  Chalk or White-board erase marker

Jane and Babe, by: Sheila Cushman, Educational Insights. (one per students)

-  Primary paper and pencil


1.  Introduction:  Introduce the a_e= /A/ correspondence and how to read it.  What letter is this (holding up a paper with a letter /A/ on it)?  What sound does the letter /A/ make?  (get them to say /a/ and /A/)   Today I want to show u a trick when reading words with the letter /A/ in it.  When you have a word that has the letter /a/ followed by a consonant and the letter /e/  (a_e) then the /A/ will make the /A/ sound. 

 2. To practice recognizing the words that have the words a_e=/A/, I will hold up two cards at a time (cards with words car and care, fad and fade, made and mad, can and cane.). Ask students which word contains the a_e.  While holding up each word, as a class read each word concentrating on comparing each word with and with out the a_e. Ask the question: Which word has the a_e=/A/ sound in it? (Model doing this first)  “sam” and “same”.  sam -  say /s/ /a/ /m/, is sam and same -  /s/ /A/ /m/ e , is same.

3. Now lets say our funny sentence (have them listen to you say it then say it together). Wade made lemonade in the shade.  This time lets say it stretching out the /A/ sound in the words. Waaaaade maaaaade lemonaaaaade in the shaaaaade.

4. Draw Elkonin letterbox on the board for teacher use during this portion of the lesson.  Provide each student with their own letterbox. We are going to practice spelling words that make the /A/ sound by using our trick (a_e = /A/). Right now, I am going to spell the word plate. The first box is for the first sound in plate, the /pl/. The second box is for the /a/ and the /t/e follows. Now this time I am not going to help you but instead you do by yourself and I will come around and check: {3} mat, late, cake, nat, nate; {4} brave, stand; {5} scrape.

5. Go over words used in the letterbox portion of the lesson.  Write each word from the letterbox lesson on the board one at a time. Call on students read the words aloud.  Give  example for students to follow, Write cake, read the word for the class /k/ /A/ /k/e.  Then call on students to read the words from the letterbox lesson, and ask them questions concerning the words such as, Why does the /a/ in cake make the /A/ sound?

6. Book Talk: Jane and Babe.  Babe is lion that lives at the zoo.  Jane is the zoo keeper and wants to wake Babe up.  You will have to read and find out how Jane wakes Babe up. (Have students read story) 

 7. Write down words that have the /A/ sound in it using our a_e trick.  Here are a few example words from our story  (writing on the board) to help get us thinking.  Jane and Babe. Remember when making you’re a in the words to make a small c then a line closing the c’s mouth.

8. Assessment:

While students work on writing down words with /A/ sound I will be walking around the classroom having the students individually read some of their words they are writing to assess.

Standard list of words for students to read: fade, Tate, late, make, crate, Nate. 


  Cushman, Sheila.  Jane and Babe.  Educational Insights:  Carson, CA, 1990.

  Murray, B.A. and Lesniak, T. (1999). The Letterbox Lesson: A hands-on approach for teaching decoding. The Reading Teacher, 644-650

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