By Mary Cox Brown
Rationale Before children can learn to read, they
must be able to identify phonemes in words. This lesson identifies the phoneme /a/. The children will learn an important
representation of the letter symbol for a. They
will also practice finding /a/ in words in a story, and practice
finding words with /a/ in a song.
Materials poster with "The Cat in the Hat
by Dr. Seuss", primary paper and pencil,
drawing paper and crayons, picture page (by the teacher) of cat, rat,
apple, pig, cow, bat, cap, fan, A Cat Nap (Educational Insight)
- Introduce the lesson by
making the children excited about learning a new sound and letter . Explain that it is important how we move
our mouths when we say words, because different mouth moves can produce
different words. Today we will
introduce the mouth move for /a/. I would
want to encourage them that it might feel funny at first, but
eventually our mouths will get used to the mouth move.
- Ask students, "Have you
ever heard someone say "Gazunheit" when you sneeze?
When you say "Gazunheit " it is the same thing as saying
"Bless you" What sound do you make when
you sneeze! (Achoo) Can you hold you mouth open
like when you begin to sneeze. /a/.......... (Good now stop your sneeze right in the
middle). This is the way we say
/a/./a/ is a very important sound and is usually found in the middle of
- Now that we know the
sound the /a/ makes i want each of you to try to think of a word
that has an /a/ in it. I will get you started. Cat does
that have an /a/ in it. What about dad does that have a
/a/. now that i have given you an idea think of a word that might
have an /a/ in it.
- (Have students hold up
their pencil and pull out their primary paper). "Okay,
now we are going to practice writing /a/. I
will show you how to write little letter a. Start
a little below the fence, and curve up to touch the fence just a little
bit. Then, keep circling around and
touch the sidewalk and curve back up towards the fence.
You will want to go straight to the side walk from here and
not pick your pencil up. ( I will model writing the letter step by step
on the board). I want everyone to practice
writing this letter. I will be walking around to make sure
everyone is writing a right. Once i put
a check mark on your paper, i want you to write a five more
- ( The following
questions i will ask individually and call on different people to
answer) Do you hear /a/ in dog or cat? Bag or Box? apple
or orange? mat or mug?
ship or plane? .
- Now we will sing a song
about our sound /a/. It goes to the
tune of "Skip to My Lou". I will sing it one time and I
want you to listen and the next time I want you to join in with
me. Don't forget to look for our mouth move.
- (Do a brief book talk
about "Cat Nap". I will ask the children
to raise their hands when they hear our mouth move.
I will then list the words on the board.
The children will then color a picture of a cat and
write a short messge below. They will each have a
chance to show the class their work.
- For assessment, give
the children the picture pages with different objects on it. As a class, point at the pictures and ask
the children to identify them. Ask
them to color in the objects with the /a/ sound, but to leave the
others blank. (Pictures of cat, rat,
pig, apple, cow, bat, cap, fan on the picture pages)