Caty Flatt
Beginning Reading


Beginning readers need skills to decode unfamiliar words. This lesson will provide beginning readers with these skills.  Short vowels are the hardest of the phonemes to identify, therefore, a lesson focusing on one of the short vowels is necessary.  This lesson will focus on the short a=/a/.  The goal of this lesson will be for students to recognize the short a=/a/ in both spoken and written word.

letter manipulative: m, a, n, p, d, l, c, t, b, g, t
A Cat Nap by Shelia Cushman
primary writing paper and pencils
white copy paper

1.  Introduce the lesson by explaining that sounds of letters combine to make words.  "We are going to concentrate on one sound today.  I will show what letter goes with that sound so that we can begin to make words using that letter and sound."

2.  "Can anyone tell me which letter makes the “aaa” sound, like when you sneeze and you say aaaachoo!  That is right the short a=/a/."

3.  "Let’s try listening to some words to see if we can hear the "aaaa" sound.  I want you to cover your nose like you are about to sneeze when you hear a word with the "aaaa" sound.  Here we, phone, plate, ran, sand, fork, cup, man, rat, picture, ball, nap.  Good job!"

4.  "Everyone needs to take out their letterboxes and letters so we can spell some words.  You need to have out two boxes at first.  I will tell you when you need to add more boxes.  The first word is "at".  Now you need to add one more box to make three.  (teacher will continue with the following words until all have been spelled: man, nap, pal, ran, bag, pat)  I am going to write these words on the board and let’s see if we can say them together.  Fantastic!  You are all such good spellers."

5.  Have each child read A Cat Nap by Shelia Cushman.  Have the students pick out words that contain the short a=/a/.

6.  "Let's practice together writing a=/a/.  Everyone needs a pencil and piece of primary paper.  Start on the first line. Start at the middle of the fence and come around like you are making a circle to the left, then come back up to the middle of the fence and finally come down to the bottom of the fence and add a little tail."  (teacher will model this on the board.)

Students will be asked to write a few words that contain the short a=/a/ and draw a corresponding picture.  While the students are working on this activity I will pull them out individually to read to me A Cat Nap while I take a running record.

Cushman, Shelia.  A Cat Nap.  Educational Insights, 1990.
Elizabeth Smith,

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