In order for students to become
skillful readers and spellers they must have phonemic awareness. Phonemes are the last and most challenging
sound units children learn to perceive, after words and syllables
ch. 5). Phonological awareness is not
naturally acquired and so explicit instruction is required. Short vowels can be particularly hard to
identify. This lesson will help
children learn to recognize /a/ in spoken words by learning a
and a letter symbol.
by Cathi Hepworth, primary paper, pencil, tongue
twister on poster board (Aunt Annie asked Aaron for an apple), a class
notecards with an /a/ on one side and a question mark on the other,
paper, crayons, 5 cards with pictures of words with the /a/ sound
apple, ant, cat, hat), worksheet with 10 items pictured (some with the
sound and some without), dry erase marker, and a board.
the lesson by explaining that our alphabet starts with the letter A,
and each letter in the alphabet has distinct sounds.
WE NEED TO BE ABLE TO RECOGNIZE THE SOUNDS IN READING,
WRITING AND SPOKEN WORDS. THE LETTER A
STARTS THE ALPHABET, BUT IT CAN ALSO BE FOUND IN THE BEGINNING, MIDDLE
AND END OF WORDS. TODAY WE ARE GOING TO
WORK ON SPOTTING THE MOUTH MOVEMENT FOR THE /a/ SOUND.
AT FIRST THIS MAY SEEM CHALLENGING, BUT IT WILL GET EASIER!
the students what they would do if they saw a bunch of ants crawling
towards their food? I WOULD SAY a-a-a-a! THAT IS THE MOUTH MOVEMENT WE
ARE LOOKING FOR IN WORDS THAT HAVE THE /a/ SOUND IN THEM.
SO LETS PRETEND WE ARE HAVING A PICNIC AND ALL OF THE SUDDEN
AN ARMY OF ANTS IS COMING TOWARDS OUR FOOD, JUMP UP AND SAY “a-a-a!
the students the poster board with the tongue twister on it. LETS TRY A TONGUE TWISTER WITH THAT SAME /a/ SOUND. AUNT ANNIE
ASKED AARON FOR AN APPLE. LETS TRY THAT 3
TIMES TOGETHER, ON THE FIRST TRY LETS STRETCH OUT THE /a/ SOUND AT THE
BEGINNING OF EACH WORD. “aaaunt aaanie aaasked aaaaron for aaan
aaapple” THIS NEXT TIME LETS BREAK OFF THE /a/ SOUND AT THE BEGINNING
OF EACH WORD, “/a/unt /a/nnie /a/sked /a/aron for /a/n /a/pple. THIS LAST TIME WE WILL SAY IT TOGETHER
NORMALLY, “Aunt Annie asked Aaron for an apple”. GOOD
out the primary paper and pencils. WE ALSO
USE THE LETTER A IN SPELLING OUT THE /a/ SOUND IN WORDS.
LETS TRY AN PRACTICE WRITING IT. FIRST,
START AT THE ROOFTOP, GO DOWN TO THE SIDEWALK, THEN DOWN THE SLIDE THE
OTHER WAY, AND CROSS THE FENCE. Walk
around and check the letters after modeling print concept.
ONCE I PUT A STAR ON YOUR PAPER I WANT YOU TO PRACTICE
WRITING THE UPPER CASE A THAT MAKES THE /a/ SOUND, UNTIL YOU HAVE 10
THE /a/ MAY ALSO BE REPRESENTED BY A LOWER CASE A.
TO MAKE THIS WE DON’T START AT THE FENCE, BUT START UNDER
THE FENCE, GO UP AND TOUCH THE SIDEWALK, AROUND AND STRAIGHT DOWN. Go around and check letters after modeling
print concept. ONCE I PLACE A STAR ON YOUR
PAPER I WANT YOU TO KEEP PRACTICING AND MAKE 9 MORE.
I AM GOING TO SAY SOME WORDS WITH THE /a/ SOUND AND SOME WITHOUT AND I
WANT YOU TO TELL ME IN WHAT WORD YOU HEAR THE /a/ SOUND.
I WILL SHOW YOU AN EXAMPLE, THE WORDS ARE BLACK AND WHITE,
THEN I THINK AND SAY THESE WORDS TO MYSELF. YES,
I HEAR THE /a/ SOUND IN BLACK! Give several examples like this one. DO YOU HEAR THE /a/ SOUND IN ASHLEY OR
I AM GOING TO PASS YOU OUT A CARD AND I WANT YOU TO TELL ME WHETHER YOU
HEAR THE /a/ SOUND IN SOME WORDS AS I SAY THEM. IF
YOU DO HOLD UP THE SIDE OF THE CARD WITH THE A ON IT, IF YOU DO NOT
HEAR THAT SOUND, HOLD UP THE OTHER SIDE WITH THE QUESTION MARK. I WILL SHOW YOU WHAT I MEAN ONCE.
AUNT, YES, I HEAR THE /a/ SOUND SO I WOULD HOLD UP THE A
SIDE. Use the tongue twister to do this activity.
and discuss the commonality of the words on each page. (Each word has
‘ant’ in it, and the book goes from letter A-Z) Read
it again and have the students hold up the cards when they hear the /a/
sound. Have each student draw a picture of ants and write a story or
message about the drawing using invented spelling.
assess students distribute the worksheet with 10 images on it. ON THIS SHEET ARE PICTURES OF ITEMS WHOSE
WORDS EITHER HAVE THE /a/ SOUND OR IT DOES NOT. I
WANT YOU TO COLOR IN THE ONE THAT DO HAVE THE /a/ SOUND AND LEAVE THE
OTHER ONES BLANK.
J. Loyd. (2005). Teaching
Decoding:Why and How 2nd
Edition. Upper Saddle
River, NJ: Pearson. Pg. 43.
Hepworth, Cathi. Antics. New
York: G.P. Putnam's Sons. 1992.
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