“Ahhhh….You woke up the baby!”

 crying baby
Allison Cox


 Readers must first be able to recognize letters.  In turn, they will be able to recognize these letters in reading.  This lesson is designed to help students learn the letter Aa.  In this lesson, they will also learn to recognize the /a/ in spoken words. They will be able to recognize the symbol to go along with the sound in spoken word practice.


Primary paper


Chart with “Alice always asks about our baby sister Anna’s hat.”

“Pat’s Jam”

cards with hat, trash, box, pass, jam, sit, mat, fox, top


  1. First, explain to students that we make our mouth form different movements in order to make different sounds come out. Today, we are trying to make the sound for the letter /a/. Once we know how to make the sound with our mouths, it will help us hear it in spoken words and recognize it in written words.
  2. Ask the students if any of them have a little brother or sister. Even if you don’t, I bet you have been around a baby before. One of the first things a baby does when it wakes up is cries out for its mother. What type of sound does the baby usually make if it is woken up? Let’s all make that crying sound together, “Ahhhhhhh.” This is the way our mouth makes the sound for the short /a/. Your tongue and jaw are down. We are going to make the gesture of rubbing our eyes with our fists to help us remember that it sounds like a baby crying.Today we are going to listen for that sound and try to make that sound in some new words.
  3. Now we are going to try a tongue twister. I will use this chart to help us. Together we will read the tongue twister holding the /a/ sound as we see it and hear it in the words. “Aaaaalice aaaaalways aaaasks aaaaabout our baby sister Aaaaannnnaa’s haaaat.” Did you all hear the /a/ sound in those words?
  4. We can also use what we know about this new letter and its sound to write words. Let’s practice writing the letter /a/. Now, we are going to try writing an a on our primary paper. Start at the fence, circle down to the sidewalk, come back up and touch the fence, and move straight back down to the sidewalk.
  5. Next, I will have the students spot the /a/ sound in different words that I say. Do you hear the /a/ sound in hat or box? Trash or sit? Mat or fox? Top or pass? Hold up the card in which you hear the /a/ sound as I ask them.
  6. We will then read “Pat’s Jam” and I will have the students make the gesture of the baby crying if they hear the /a/ sound as I read.
  7. For further assessment I will have the students make up their own sentences on their primary paper using words that we heard in the story.



      Adams, Marilyn Jager. Beginning to Read:Thinking and Learning about Print.

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