A Likes the Rain

Leslie Chasteen

Beginning Reading

Rationale: After learning short vowel sounds, students should become familiar with long vowels. Even if they know that long vowels “say their names,” they should know that there are correspondences such as ai and ay that make the same sounds as the long vowel /A/. This lesson will help students recognize ai and ay in words and understand that they say /A/.




Plastic Letter tiles

Primary Paper


Copies of James and the Good Day (by Sheila Cushman and Rona Kornblum, Educational Insights, 1990.) for each student.



I.                    Introduce the lesson by explaining that the correspondences ay and ai are just like the phonemes that we have talked about before. Even though they have two letters, they only make one vocal gesture and sound. It may be kind of tricky at first, but soon you will be able to easily recognize ai= /A/.

II.                 Ask students about the word rain. We will spell the word and note that the ai says /A/. That will be our “gesture” for the ai and ay= /A/. Whenever we hear the sound /A/. We will do the gesture for rain. (Move fingers in a sprinkling rain motion). Let’s make sure that we have got it. When I say rain you let me know when you hear /A/ by showing me your rain. If ai and ay say the same thing, tell me something about the word d-a-y. That’s right!  It says day. Do you hear the /A/ in day? Where’s your rain. Good job. I’m going to say a sentence once. After I say it, we will all say it together and show me your rain when you /A/. Okay? Jay likes to play in the rain. Great job!

III.           Letterbox Lesson: Review and model how to do the letterbox lesson. Explain that each box should contain each single vocal gesture in a word.I'm going to show you how to do the word ray. Okay, I hear /r/ so the letter r will go in the first box. Then I hear /A/ and we know that /ay/ makes the /A/ sound. So I am going to put /ay/ in the second box. I only used two boxes because there are only two sounds. Now I want you to spell some words using your letterboxes. Remember what correspondences that we are looking for and remember the rain. Okay?  Words: 2-[day, bay, say, at], 3- [laid, play, wait, mad], 4-[stray, drain, fast], 5-[strain]

IV.           Now I’m going to spell out some words with the letter tiles, and I want you to tell me what they are. When you tell me the words, show me the rain when you hear /A/. Okay? {Spell words that students spelled in letter box lesson: day, bay, laid, play, wait, mad, drain, stray, strain}.

V.               Give each student a copy of James and the Good Day. Now we are going to read a book. Book talk: This book is about James. One morning when James wakes up he just knows that it is going to be a good day. However, when James gets ready to take a bath and play with his boats something happens: he begins running his water but forgets about it! The water begins to flow out of the bathtub. What’s going to happen James’ good day?  Let’s read and find out.

VI.             Ask students to read the book to themselves and write down the words with /A/ on their primary paper. Also have them circle the letters that say /A/ in the word. As the students read, ask some of them to quietly share some of the words they have found. After they have all finished, talk about some of the words that they found in the book and write them on the board.

VII.          The assessment will be the words that they have written from the book and the identification of the letters that say /A/ in the words.




Long A Sound: http://www.edhelper.com/phonics/Vowels1.htm

Long A Sound words: http://www.sadlier-oxford.com/phonics/grade_k_1/longa.htm

Borders, Emily. Beginning Reading: Shake with A:  http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/connect/bordersbr.html

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