A+ Readers
Jennifer McClellan

Rationale:  As readers progress in their reading skills they must improve on breaking the alphabetic code.  After they master the individual phonemes of each letter, they will learn digraphs with more ease.  This lesson will help children master digraphs that make the long a =/A/ sound.  These two digraphs are ay at the end of words, and ai in the middle of words.  We will learn to do this through letterboxes and a reading game.

Materials:  Chalk and chalkboard (words: may, pay,  pain, chain)
                   Elkonin letterboxes
                   Letters: a, y, i ,d, s, p, l, g, n, b, t, r, c, h
                   Words: day, say, play, gain, bait, tray, spray, train, chair, strain
                   Set of classroom books, blank notecards(one with ay on it & one with ai)

1. Introduce the lesson by explaining digraphs.  "We have learned in the past that each letter has its own sound.  Sometimes, though, when two letters are next to each other they can help each other make one sound instead, we call this a digraph.  The digraph that we will learn about to day is the one that happens when two letters make the one sound A=/A/."

2.  Explain what the two digraphs that make the A=/A/ sound are, and model some of their uses in words on the board.  "Today we will look at two letter pairs that make the sound A=/A/ when they are beside each other.  First letís look at what happens when we see an a and a y beside one another. Ay says /A/.  Here are some examples of words that use  ay to say /A/, (write on board:  may & pay. )  Now look at these words, say them with me, do you hear /A/?"  [Next do the same thing with the ai=/A/ words.]

3.  [Get out materials for letterbox lesson]  "Now we are going to try look at more ways to use ay and ai to get the /A/ sound using our letterboxes.  Remember that if two letters make one sound like, ai and ay for /A/ they go in the same box."  [Continue on with letterbox lessons doing all of the words listed above]

4.  [Pass out a pencil and two notecards(one with ai & one with ay on it) to each student.
 Now to assess what each student has learned have the students take their note cards and pencils, and choose a book from the book selections.  The student should read their book and write down each word they find that has the /A/ digraphs in it.

Reference:  Reading genie website: www.auburn.edu/rdggenie
                   "Ouch! I have a booboo!"  www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/breakthroughs/shieldsel.html

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