Blake’s Brave Race

Beginning Reading

Casey Morrow


In order to read, students must be able to understand the difference between the short and long vowel sounds.  They must understand that these correspondences are spelled and pronounced differently.  This lesson will be working with a_e=/A/ by reading and spelling words with letterboxes.

Elkonin Letter boxes (one set per student); set of letters (each in Ziploc baggie) per student a,e,t,u,p,s,v,f,d,k,h,n,r,b,c,i,; large Elkonin Letter boxes (for teacher) made out of felt; large felt board; large set of felt letters a,e,t,u,p,s,v,f,d,k,h,n,r,b,c,i,;  class set of books Jane and Babe; primary paper; pencils; sheet of matching printed words to pictures cake, cat, lake, snake, fat, mat, grape; strip with the tongue twister ( Kate baked a grape cake.); chalkboard; chalk 

1.       First go over the a=/a/ as a review; I will then introduce the a_e=/A/.  “Class we have already learned all of our short vowel sounds.  Someone raise your hand and tell me what the short a says.  That’s right it says /a/ like in the word apple.  Today we are going to learn one spelling that lets us know the vowel is long.  Raise your hand and tell me what the long a says.  That’s right it says /A/.  This spelling is magic because it has a magic letter at the end that we see but we don’t say.  Every time we see that magic letter at the end of a word it lets us know that the vowel is long (says its name).  Let me show you how to do one, for example:  the word cake (write cake on the board) has the magic e on the end therefore the a is a long vowel and says /A/.”

2.       Do the tongue twister.  “Now let’s do a tongue twister.  First listen to me say the tongue twister then we will all do it together (get out the strip with the tongue twister on it). Kate baked a grape cake.  Ok now as we say it again, I want you to hold up your hand each time you hear the long a sound.”

3.       Next will be the letterbox lesson activity.  The students would have already had a lot of practice with the letterbox lesson activity.  We will do 2, 3, 4, and 5 letter words with review short vowels in between. The students will be taught that since we don’t say the e, it goes on the outside (not in a box).  The teacher will model with a felt board and large Elkonin boxes/letters.  “Ok class here is your letterboxes and a bag full of new letters for our words.  Who can raise their hand and tell me what you do when I call out a word?  Good yes you spell out each letter or letters that you hear in each box.  Let me show you an example.  I want you to spell the word tap; I will tap my pencil.  Good you put the t in one box, the a in the second box, and the p in the last box (teacher models in her boxes the word too). Ok now before we begin this lesson, who can tell me what you think we might do differently?  Well for the a silent e letterbox lesson (a_e=/A/), you are to put the e outside of the last letterbox.  Since we don’t hear the e we put it on the outside of the last box. Let me show you how to do one.  For the word Jane we hear the j so the j goes first, then what do we hear next?   Right a long a, therefore we know that we have to put the e on the outside of the last box. Next is, right n and the e on the outside; now we have the word Jane.  Ok let’s begin.”

(2) ate, up

(3) save, fade, take

(4) hunt, grape, brave

(5) scrape, shrink

4.       I will now model how I am going to spell the words and the students are to read it back to me.  I will do this on the felt board with the large Elkonin boxes/letters; we will do this for all of the words.  “Alright class, like we usually do during the letterbox lesson, I am going to spell the word and I want you to read it for me.  Let me show you how to do one; (spell ate) I know that the magic e on the end makes that a say its name, a.  I also know that the t says /t/.  Therefore when I put those sounds together I know that the word says ate.”

5.       Next the class will read, in partners, the book Jane and Babe.  They will each take turns reading the book while the other partner reads along with them (they can help if help is needed). “Class, take the book I just handed out to you and get with your reading partner.  Today I want you to take turns reading, Jane and Babe.  Babe is a lion in the zoo and Jane is his helper.  Jane and Babe are friends.  Babe is a nice lion.  Babe is asleep and Jane wants to wake him.  She tries tapping her cane and he won’t wake up.  Next she is going to yell.  Do you think Babe will wake up?  What do you think he will do?”

6.       The students will now use their primary paper and pencil to write a message about what they would have done to wake up Babe. “Class I now want you to go to your seats and take out a piece of paper and a pencil.  I want you to write a couple of sentences about what you would have done differently to wake up Babe.”

7.       I will do an assessment by having the students match the picture of words to their written form.  I will use the following examples:  cake, cat, lake, snake, fat, mat, grape.  The students are then to circle the picture that has the a_e correspondence.  “Class here is a fun activity.  I want you to draw a line from the picture to the matching word.  Let me show you how to do one, for example:  here is a picture of a cake, I am going to look for the word that says cake.  Hmm I know that cake starts with a c, it also has the long a sound so it must have a silent e, and after the long a I hear the k sound.  Oh there it is cake.  Now after you have matched up each picture to its word I want you to circle the picture that has the long a and silent e in it’s spelling.”

8.      For the last assessment I will have the students each come up to me and read a short bit of the book, Jane and Babe.  They will do this while they complete the picture sheet. 

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

Jane and Babe.  Phonics Readers.  California:  Educational Insights, 1990.

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