Antics

Emergent Literacy Design
Jennifer Ruschhaupt

Rationale:

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 (Eldredge, 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 meaningful representation and a letter symbol.

 

Materials:

Book:
Antics by Cathi Hepworth, primary paper, pencil, tongue twister on poster board (Aunt Annie asked Aaron for an apple), a class set of notecards with an /a/ on one side and a question mark on the other, drawing paper, crayons, 5 cards with pictures of words with the /a/ sound (Alabama, apple, ant, cat, hat), worksheet with 10 items pictured (some with the /a/ sound and some without), dry erase marker, and a board.

 

Procedures:

  1. Introduce 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!
  2. Ask 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! ANTS!”
  3. Show 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 JOB!
  4. Pass 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 TOTAL.
  5. NOW 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. 
  6. NOW 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 JENNIFER?
  7. NOW 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. 
  8. Read Antics, 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. 
  9. To 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. 

 

Reference:

Eldredge, 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.

Click here to return to Connections

For further information, send e-mail to ruschja@auburn.edu