Marlee Davis
Emergent Literacy

"Whaaa" Said The Baby"

This lesson will focus on phoneme awareness. Children might be able to recite the alphabet, but the truth is, it may be based on mere memorization. Children need to understand that letters represent phonemes. Spoken words are an organization of different phonemes. My goal of this lesson is to have students recognize phonemes. They must be able to do this before they can pair letters to phonemes. Vowels are parts of every word. I have learned that short vowels provide the most difficult challenges for beginning readers. This lesson will aim to have students identify /a/ (short a) as a short vowel. Children will learn this by participating in meaningful activities that will hopefully remain in their memories.

· Primary paper or sentence strips
· Chart with , "Alex the alligator asked Ashley the alligator for axes to chop down the apple tree."
· Cards with different pictures on them. All the pictures should have the /a/ (short a) in the middle of the word. (examples: pictures of a cat, rat, hat, etc.)
· Sentence strips with questions written on them. The ending words in some of the questions should rhyme with other words in that sentence. (ex: Does Pat have a hat?) Some of the questions should not rhyme like that (ex: Will Bill ride the horse?).
· Dr. Seuss book, The Cat in the Hat  published by Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, C1995.

1. Introduce the lesson by explaining that we need to understand that different mouth moves make the sounds in words. We should try and figure out what letters stand for the mouth moves we make as we speak different words. Think of it like a puzzle. Some pieces do not fit together. That is the same way when we write words. Some letters do not go together. That is why we depend on the way our mouth moves to figure out what letters do go together. Today we are going to be working with our own puzzle piece, /a/ (short a). We will learn new ways of identifying when you see or hear /a/ in words.
2. Ask students: "Have you ever heard a baby cry? What sound do they make? That is right, they say, "whaaaaaaa". Well, that is what sound our puzzle piece makes. It is called /a/ (short a). Whenever we say "aaaaaa", our mouth moves like this, say it again and stretch it out. Whenever we go over any word with short a in it, I will say it like a baby’s cry, "whaaa". Let's see if we can practice a couple. You tell me if you here the short a in these words: hat, cat, jump, can, run. When you call these words out to the students, stretch the sounds out and make the short a sound like the "aaaa" in a baby’s cry, "whaaaa".
3. Now pull the chart out. Say it to yourself as you write it on the chart for the students. This way, they can hear you pronounce the sounds as you write them. Make sure they can see your mouth move. I will read this out loud to you and point with my finger as I read. Whenever you hear our puzzle piece and see my mouth move the way it moves for our puzzle piece, raise your hand and I will stop. We will circle all of the words that makes our mouth move the way it is supposed to for our puzzle piece. Say /a/ (short a ) again so they can watch your mouth move. Now read the chart, "Alex the alligator asked Ashley the alligator for an ax to chop down the apple tree." Once you are through the twister, go back and ask if they see any short a words that we missed.
4. Now pull out the sentence strips with the different sentences on them. Explain to them the directions. Give them each a piece of paper and have them number 1-10. Orally pronounce each sentence to them one at a time. It would be a good idea to review what rhyming words are. Tell them that if the last word they hear in the question rhymes with any other word in that question, they should make a check mark beside that number. (Ex. 2.Will Jake go rake?  Their paper: 2.    ) If the last word in the question does not rhyme with any other words in the sentence, they should leave the space beside the number of that question blank.
5. You should move on to the picture cards now. Each card should have a picture which has /a/ (short a ) when you pronounce it. Tell the children that each of these pictures makes us make the mouth move of our puzzle piece, /a/. Have them practice that mouth move by saying, cat very slowly. Show them the pictures and pronounce the words really slowly emphasizing the /a/ (short a) mouth move. Ask them, what mouth move does our puzzle piece make? Now show the pictures again and ask them to say the names of the pictures with you.
6. Now give the students a piece of primary paper and a pencil. Tell them that since we have learned to make the mouth move of /a/, our puzzle piece, we are now going to learn how to write it. Start at the fence top, the dotted line, go down to the sidewalk and loop it back up to the fence. Touch the point where you started and come back down to the sidewalk. Let's try it again together. Go through the directions again. Now you try it by yourself on the next line. When you are finished, raise your hand, I want to see your work. The whole row has to be finished. When you finish, and if they are correct, you will get a sticker on your paper. Hang their work up in the class.
7. For assessment, have additional picture cards set aside for later. When they are finished writing their /a/ (short a's), tell them they are going to see how much they learned today. Have them number their paper according to how many pictures you have. If they hear /a/ (short a ) in the name of the picture, they are to write yes beside the number of the picture, if not, they leave the space blank.

 Eldredge, Lloyd J.  Teaching Decoding in Holistic Classrooms.Ch. 5 Pgs.50-70. Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey. Copyright 1995.

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