recognition is vital to the success of
emergent readers. It is essential that
children learn that letters are symbols that have corresponding sounds. The goal of this lesson is to teach a = /a/.
This lesson looks at the short a
sound and provides a vocal gesture to make the sound more memorable to
children. Then, students will practice
their new knowledge by looking at words with and without the short a sound.
Materials: primary pencil and paper; chart with “Matt
snacked on a black apple!”; class set of apple-shaped cards with short a words on some of them and some with
a vowel other than short a (Use
more with short a so that it will be more
2 jars labelled JAM and NO JAM for apple cards; Pat’s Jam (Educational
board for writing words on; picture page with short a
words (grass, dog, mask, pan, fan, mop, hand, foot, ring, can,
this lesson by saying that language
is like a secret code- letters not only look a
certain way, but also make
certain sounds. “Today, we are going to
look at the letter /a/ and listen to
what it sounds like, as well as see how our mouth moves when we say ‘aaaa’.
You will be surprised at how many /a/
words you know. Let’s get
started! It might be a bit harder on the
first couple ones, but after that, I know you’ll be pros!”
2. Does anyone know what kind of noise a
or a lamb makes? That’s right…it says
“Baaaaa!” Well, that ‘a-a-a-a-a’ sound
(made with an open mouth) is actually the sound that the letter a makes.
The letter a makes that sound
in lots of words, words that you already know.
I am going to show you some of those ‘a-a-a’ words
first, listen to the a in cr-a-a-a-a-b. Say I have the words black and
white? I hear the a-a-a in
bla-a-a-ck. Do you hear a-a-a in mad or smile? Cat or dog? Pan or hit? Lab or room?
3. Let’s try a
tongue twister with some of these sounds [on chart]!
“Ask Al about the amazing apples!” Everybody
say it three times together. Now, say it
again and stretch out the /a/ in
the words. “Aaaaask Aaaaal about the
aaaaaamazing aaapples!” Great!
4. Now I have a fun
game for us to play. At the front of the
room, I have 2 jars. One of the jars is
for apple jam and the other is not. I am
going to give each of you an apple-shaped card.
Written on the card is a word and if the word has the ‘a-a-a’
then it can go into the apple JAM jar. I
fit does not, then it goes into the NO JAM jar.
Now, when I call each of you, come put your apple in the jar you
your word belongs in. I’ll go first and
you all can help me. My word is (read apple card) BRAT. Where
should I put it? You’re right- in the
apple JAM jar because it
has our a-a-a-a /a/ sound. Now, it’s
[Get out pencil and paper] Now we’re
going to practice how to write the letter a
that makes our /a/ sound. Okay.
Start under the fence. Go up and
touch the fence, then around and touch the sidewalk.
Finally, go around and stright down, and you
will have an a. Good Job!
Again, what does that sound
make? Good. Now,
let’s see you write it 4 more times.
6. Now we are going to read Pat’s
Jam. After the first
time of reading it through, read it again and have the children clap
hear an /a/ word. Write
some of these words down on the board,
and make a tongue twister from them when you are finished reading for
second time through (can add words if needed).
7. Finally, the phonemic awareness
/a/ will be passed out for
assessment. The children should circle
the pictures that have that correspondence in them and put an X on the
that do not have a short /a/
Eldredge, J. Lloyd. Teach Decoding; why
and how. Upper Saddle River, NJ. (2005). p60-65.
worksheet with pictures)
Mandy. “Egg-stra! Egg-stra!” Beginning Reading Design. http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/insp/woeflel.html
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