Rationale: In order for children to learn to read and spell words, they need the alphabetic insight that letters stand for phonemes and that spellings map out the phonemes in spoken words. Before children can match letters to phonemes, they have to recognize the phonemes. This lesson will help children to identify /a/. They will learn to recognize /a/ in spoken words by learning a meaningful representation and the letter symbol, and then practice applying /a/.
Materials: Primary paper and pencil; poster with the tongue twister Adam the alligator scares all the ants away; drawing paper and crayons; picture page with bag, drum, hat, bus, ant, cup, apple, and cat; picture box with an apple, frog, car, hat, slinky, cup, cat, mirror, and ant; The Cat and the Hat by Dr. Seuss.
Procedures: 1. Introduce the lesson by explaining that words are made up of individual sounds. Each word is made up of many different sounds and when we combine the different sounds they make different words. Today we are going to work on going to work on sounding out words with /a/ and making words with /a/.
2. Ask student: Have you ever seen something scary and said /a/? This is what the short "a" sounds like. Lets pretend we have seen a great big alligator and say /a/.
3. Lets try a tongue twister. Adam the alligator scares all the ants away. Everybody say it together. Now lets try it again and stretch out the /a/ sound. Lets try it again and this time break /a/ off the work.
4. (Take out a piece of primary paper and pencil). We can use the letter to spell /a/. Let's practice writing /a/. Place your pencil half way between the sidewalk and fence around to the sidewalk and curve back up to where you started. Without picking up your pencil draw straight back down to the sidewalk. I want to see your a. After I put a sticker on it, make a row of a's just like it. This a makes the sound /a/.
5. Read the Cat in the Hat. Reread parts of the book that have multiple /a/ words. Read the pages and have students raise their hand when they hear words with /a/.
6. "I have a box with different items. When I pull out an item I will say the name of it. If you hear an /a/ sound in it I want you to say /a/ like if you just saw something scary. If you do not hear an /a/ sound stay quiet." Then I will have each student write a message about the objects using inventive spelling.
7. For assessment, distribute the picture page and help students name each picture. Student's will then circle the pictures with the /a/ in their names.
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