Loren Cutcliffe
Emergent Literacy

Things That Make You Say

Rationale: This lesson is designed to help begin to develop skills needed to read. Some of the hardest things for children in the beginning are the short vowel sounds. In this lesson they will learn to recognize a=/a/ in spoken words by learning a meaningful representation and letter symbol, and then practice finding /a/ in words.

Materials: Primary paper and pencil; sentence strip with Pat Gave Jan Apples and Ants. Pictures of jam, ham, pig, hat, can, gum, doc, and bus and a copied sheet with pictures, and a copy of Patís Jam.

1. First, introduce the correspondence a=/a/. HAVE ANY OF YOU EVERY PUT JAM ON AN APPLE? (wait for answers) WHAT LETTER DO WE HERE FIRST IN APPLE? ĎAí THAT IS RIGHT! LETíS ALL SAY IT TOGETHER. Have them sound it out repeating the first sound a few times (a-a-a-apple).

2. Now letís try saying a phrase the will help you remember the sound (on the sentence strip). Pat Gave Jan Apples and Ants. Everyone say it together three times. That was great!!

3. Have students take out primary paper and pencil. We can use the letter a to spell /a/. Letís write it. Start at the fence line and go left curving down to the street and stop. Now pick up you pencil and draw a straight line from the fence to the street. I want to see everybodyís ďaĒ. I want everyone to make five more just like it.

4. Call on students to answer and explain how the know: Do you hear /a/ in cat or dog? Ban or bob? Man or guy? Sat or sun?

5. Read Patís Jam and talk about the story. Read it again and have the student blink their eyes when they hear word with /a/. List all these words on the board. Then have students draw a car and write a message about the story allowing the use of invented spelling. Allow students to stand up and share their work, then let them display it in the classroom.

6. For assessment, distribute the pictures copied on paper and help the students name each picture. Ask each student to circle the pictures where they hear the /a/ sound.


Eldridge, J. Lloyd, Teaching Decoding in Holisitic Classrooms. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey. 1995. Pg.53


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