Rationale: It is very important for children to learn vowel digraphs. This design will help children recognize the ai = /A/ correspondence. Children will learn to identify the vowel digraph by finding ai =/A/ in spoken words, using the digraph in words they write, and in books read.
Materials: Index cards with "ai = /A/" written on them; primary paper and pencils; word box worksheet (with pictures and words for: maid, rain, aid, pain, and laid); the book The Long Long Tail (by Educational Insight); and picture worksheet (containing pictures of maid, braid, rain, brain, and sail).
Procedure: All-caps are to be spoken by teacher, other print is instructive.
1.) SOMETIMES VOWELS (A, E, I, O, U) COME IN PAIRS. TODAY, WE ARE WORKING
WITH THE 'ai' TEAM. SOMETIMES WHEN 'ai' ARE TOGETHER IN A WORD, THEY SOUND
LIKE /A/. Write maid, rain, aid, and tail on the chalkboard. NOTICE THAT
THE WORDS I HAVE WRITTEN ON THE BOARD HAS THE SAME TWO VOWELS IN THE MIDDLE.
LISTEN CAREFULLLY AS I READ THEM AND SEE IF YOU CAN HEAR HOW THEY SOUND
ALIKE. Extend the /A/ sound as each word is spoken while pointing to the
ai in the word. NOW, SAY THEM WITH ME. VERY GOOD.
2.) HOW ABOUT A TONGUE TWISTER The maid with the braid laid in the rain! Give out cards with 'ai = /A/' on them. I WANT YOU TO HOLD YOUR CARD UP WHEN YOU HEAR THE /A/ SOUND WHILE WE SAY THE TONGUE TWISTER ONE MORE TIME. Children respond.
3.) DO YOU GEAR THE /A/ SOUND IN MAID OR HAD? RAN OR RAIN? SAIL OR SAY? PLAN OR PAIN? Children respond.
4.) Write m_ _ d on the chalkboard. THIS WORD IS /mA/ /d/ (maid). WHAT LETTERS ARE MISSING? Children respond. Repeat with braid, rain, train, and laid.
5.) Give each child a piece of primary paper. NOW I WANT YOU TO PRACTICE WRITING 'ai' TOGETHER ACROSS ONE LINE OF YOUR PAPER. Write "ai ai ai" on the board.
6.) Pass out the word box worksheet. HERE IS A WORKSHEET. THERE IS A BOX WITH WORDS USING ai = /A/ AND YOU ARE TO PUT THE CORRECT WORD IN THE BLANKS IN OR NEAR THE PICTURE.
7.) NOW I WANT YOU TO TAKE TURNS READING A PAGE IN THE BOOK THE LONG LONG TAIL. Teacher should read what is left after each child has had a turn. I WANT YOU TO HOLD UP YOUR CARDS WHEN YOU HEAR A WORD THAT HAS THE /A/ SOUND IN IT. The children will hold up their cards for correct (ai = /A/) as well as incorrect words in one column and correct ones in another.
8.) For assessment purposes: pass out the picture worksheet. Have students read the names of the pictured objects out loud. Then instruct them to circle the proper pictures with ai = /A/ in their name.
9.) For follow-up, the book could be re-read at a later date and the children could identify the 'ai' words instead of just the sounds.
Reference: Teaching Decoding in Holistic Classroom, written by Lloyd Eldredge (1995), published by Prentice Hall, pages 153-154.
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