Hush Cry Baby A

Beginning Reading Lesson Design
Emily Cate Stewart

Rationale: Children sometimes have problems recognizing vowels in most spoken words.  It is necessary for students to be able to have this ability in order to be able to read. This lesson focuses on the short a = /a/.  Children should be able to recognize this letter and have a good understanding of the vowel. They will know the sound it makes, how to recognize the letter in print and how to write the letter. We will use a motion and a picture to make the phoneme memorable in many ways.

1.Enough copies of Pat’s Jam for the teacher and each child in the class.
2.Letterboxes: set of 2, 3, 4 for each student and teacher
3.Letterbox letters for each student and teacher: a, b, d, g, k, l, m, n, p, s, t
4.Dry Erase Board(for teacher to model lesson)
5.Chart with tongue twister: Alan sat at an alligator’s Adam’s apple.
6.Primary writing paper and pencils
7.Worksheet – (with five pictures, three of the pictures start with the letter a the other two do not. The student should color the three pictures that start with a apple, ant, alligator. The other two words pictures are mouse and computer.)
8.Picture of a baby crying (enough for teacher and child to have one)

1.Start the lesson by telling the students that each letter has a particular mouth move. Show the students the mouth move for /a/. Because it is hard for students to remember teaching with a motion and picture it may be easier for children to grasp.

2.Introduce the lesson by; How many of you have ever heard a baby cry? Then I will demonstrate with my hands the movement for cry baby and make the sound /a/. I will ask the students to make the /a/ sound with me and use the new motion.  Then I will ask the students to hold up their picture of a cry baby when they hear the/a/ sound as I read the tongue twister. I will repeat this same activity and let the children make the motion when they hear the cry baby /a/ sound.

3.I will explain to the students The /a/ sound is a sound that you hear all of the time. I will tell them that sometimes /a/ is even hidden in the middle of words. I will ask the students Can you think of any words that may have the /a/ sound in the middle of the word. I will take their responses, then if given a correct response I will point out to the students the /a/ in the word. I will then model for the students that /a/ is in sat but not in sit, and /a/ is in ran but not in run.  Then I will give the students some words and let them tell me which one they hear /a/ in.
Words: gap or hut
             tan or sew
             bun or fat
             not or ram

4.Letter boxes will be next to practice making words with the a=/a/ sound. Class Take out your letterboxes. Watch as I show you how to use the letterboxes. I have three boxes drawn on the dry erase board, so that means there will be three sounds in the word we are spelling and our mouths will move three times. The first word is /r/ /a/ /t/. You put the first sound in the first box everyone say /rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr/ then you put the next sound in the second box /aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa/ that’s right, like the cry baby. /t/ is the final sound so it goes in the third box. Now we will start with two letter words and then work our way up, so everyone put their two boxes out. First let’s practice with /am/, leave them on your desk so that I can see them. Teacher will walk around to see that students have done them correctly and help students who are having trouble. Then the teacher will do one more two phoneme word, ad. Now let’s try three letter boxes. How about the word /bag/? Teacher will walk around as student’s attempt each word and help those who are not following the lesson. We will do a couple more three letter words, if the students are not responding well then we will not move on but if they are we will move up to four letter boxes.
Words:   2 phonemes: am, ad
              3 phonemes: bag, and, pat, sam
              4 phonemes: last, sand, mask

5.Next, I am going to explain that it is important for us as readers to be able to spot the letter a and to be able to use it in words that make the /a/ sound. We are going to start by put our pencils at the fence and marking a circle around to the left and all the way down to the sidewalk and back up to the fence to make a circle, then make a little tail on the circle.

6.I will give the children a copy of Pat’s Jam. I will give them a book talk about Pat’s Jam. I will tell them to look through the book and raise their hand when they have found at least one word that has cry baby /a/ in it.  Then after confirming that the students understand what an a looks like without any help I will ask them to follow in their books and show me the motion for cry baby a whenever they hear it or see it.

7.Finally to assess the students I will give the students a worksheet that has pictures on it, some of the pictures will be things that start with an a. The children will be asked to color the pictures that start with a.


Pat’s Jam. Carson, Educational Insights.

Murray, Bruce./ Letterbox Lessons


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