Hi, My Name is A


Rachel Bier

Beginning Reading



            In order to become fluent readers, students must be able to decode different correspondences. They must also understand that short vowels and long vowels make different songs and may have different correspondences. In this lesson we will review a = /a/ and I will introduce a _ e = /A/. I will introduce this correspondence with a letterbox lesson. The students will spell and read words in the letterbox lesson and will also practice with pseudowords.


Set of Elkonin boxes for each student

Teacher set of Elkonin boxes

Letter tiles w, a, k, e, r, t, i, g, m, f, u, n, c, h, s, p, b for each student

Teacher letter tiles w, a, k, e, r, t, i, g, m, f, u, n, c, h, s, p, b

Sentence strip saying Abe made a candy cane and ate it all up

Board and writing utensil

Jane and Babe, Educational Insights, 1990 for each student

Primary paper, pencils, and crayons/color pencils

Pseudoword cards labe, fap, dake, rike, kap, fime, leme


1. I will introduce the lesson by  reviewing the short a sound. “Does anyone remember  the sound that a makes? That’s right, just like a crying baby, a can make the /a/ sound.” Next I will explain that a makes a different sound when there is an e at the end of the word. “Now, we know that a makes the crying baby sound but I am going to show you how a can make a different sound, too! Sometimes a tells us what its name is in words. It does this when there is a silent e at the end of the word.” I will write a_e  and make on the board. “Let’s look at this word on the board. If I took off the silent e on this word it would say mmmaaakkk- the a would make a sound like a crying baby but when I add the silent e to the end of the word, a tells us what its name is, mmmAAAkkk.”

2. I will next take out a sentence strip with Abe made a candy cane and ate it all up written on it. First I will read it to the students. Then I will have them repeat after me. Then we will read it together and stress the long a sound. “While we say this tongue twister, every time you hear a saying its name I want you to wave hello since a is introducing itself to us. AAAbe maaade a candy caaane and aaate it all up.”

3. Next I will take out my Elkonin boxes and stick them on the board. I will ask my students to take out their Elkonin boxes and letters and follow along. The students have all done letterbox lessons before, but I will model how to do a word with a silent e. “ I want everyone to open up three boxes. If we have three boxes open, how many sounds does our word have? That’s right, three sounds! So if we had our word make from before where do you think the silent e would go? Let me show you. We hear the mmm then aaa and lastly kkk. But wait, a was saying its name so I know that the e goes outside the last box because it doesn’t make a sound, it just tells me that a is saying its name. Let’ s get started.”

Have students spell 3-[wake, rat, kite, game, fun, chin] 4-[space, brake, clap, skate] 5-[scrape]

Letters used: w, a, k, e, r, t, i, g, m, f, u, n, c, h, s, p, b

4. Once the students have spelled all the words I will tell them that I am going to spell the words and they are going to read them back to me. “I am going to use my letter tiles to spell some words for everyone on the overhead. When you think you know what the word is I want you to raise your hand. Once I see that everyone has their hand raised I will tell all of you to tell me what it says at the same time. Let me show you how to read this word first. The word is rat. I see rrr-aaa-ttt oh, rat!” I will then proceed to spell the words from the letterbox lesson above on the overhead. 

5. Once the students have read all the words on the overhead I will introduce our new book Jane and Babe. “ In a minute you are going to read this story, Jane and Babe.  Babe is a lion and lives in a cage. One day a lady named Jane goes into Babe’s cage while he is sleeping. She does everything she can to wake him up, but he is still sleeping. I wonder when Babe will wake up and if he will be mad at Jane. I guess we should all read to find out!” Students will now take the time to read the book.

6. After the student shave finished reading the book I will have them take out their primary paper and pencils. “Now that we have just read about Jane and Babe and how they play at the zoo, I would like for you all to write me a message about the zoo. I would like for you to tell me about what animals you like the most and maybe which ones you do not and why. If you have never been to the zoo, tell me about what you imagine the zoo to be like. Once you are done writing your message you can draw and color a picture to go along with what you wrote.

7. As an assessment tool I will call up each of the students individually while they are writing their messages. I will have a series of psuedowords for each student to read. The pseudowords will show me if the students understand the correspondence a_e = /A/ and I will also have some other correspondences to see what they are unfamiliar with. Examples of words: labe, fap, dake, rike, kap, fime, leme


Copenhaver, Liz. Ike’s Ice Cream is Icy.

Jane and Babe, Educational Insights, 1990.

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