Scary A-a-a-a!

Beginning Readers
Jordan Orso

 Rationale:  Children need to have an accurate understanding of phoneme/grapheme correspondences in order to decode words and succeed in reading.  This lesson will help children recognize the correspondence a = /a/ in spoken and written words by giving them memorable and meaningful representation of sound as well as exposure to its use in words.

 MaterialsA Cat Nap for each student, chart paper with the tongue twister written on it (Ally the fat cat took a nap on the mat), dry erase board for each student, markers, primary pad, pencils, list of words for assessment (hat, tack, man, chat, bag, sad)


1. It is important when we are reading to know what sounds different letters make when we see them in a word.  Today we are going to learn a fun way to remember when a says /a/ in a word.  Have you ever been really scared by something and you screamed out A-a-a-a?  That is the sound that the short a makes.  Now using our quiet voices, let's pretend like we have just seen something really scary and we are all going to yell out A-a-a-a! Good job!!
2. Now let's look at a tongue twister.  Let's all read it together (Ally the fat cat took a nap on the mat).  Good job!  This time let's draw that /a/ sound every time we hear it.  If you forgot what sound to make just remember the sound you make when you are scared.  Let's try (AAAAlly the faaaat caaaat took a naaaap on the maaaat).  Great job!
3. Now we are going to practice how to write that /a/ sound.  Everyone take out a piece of lined paper and a pencil.  First let's start just underneath the fence.  Go up and touch the fence and then around and touch the sidewalk.  Then make a line going straight down from the fence to the sidewalk.  Everyone do that ten times on their paper.  I am going to walk around and look at all you're a's and make sure they look just right.
4. Since everyone is doing such a great job, I think we can move on to our next activity.  Everyone take out their dry erase board and one marker.  I want you to think of as many words as you can that have the /a/ sound and write them on your board.  You can look at our word wall or think of your own words.  Everybody take a few minutes to do that.  Now that you have some words written down, I want you to underline the letter in each of those words that makes the /a/ sound.  When you have done this hold up your board for me to see.  Great job!
5. Now let's look at how you would read a word with the /a/ sound.  Let's look at map.  First let's look at the a in the middle.  It makes that scary /a/ sound.  Before the a is an m.  It makes an /m/ sound.  So far we have ma.  Finally we need to add the /p/ sound on the end.  Then we have map.  Now let's all look up at the tongue twister again.  Everyone try to read the tongue twister silently.  Remember the hints I just gave you about how to read those words with the scary A-a-a-a sound.  Great job!
6. Next we are going to read the book A Cat Nap.  Have you ever had a cat?  Well if you have then you will know how much they take naps.  This is a story about a cat who takes a nap in a gym bag.  What is going to happen when he wakes up in a strange place?  We will have to read it to find out.  I want all of you to take out your book and read it quietly to yourself.  Remember the /a/ sound that we worked on today.  I am going to come around and listen to you read.  If you need any help, raise your hand.
7. Everyone take out your primary pad and pencil and write a message about a pet that you have had and some of the funny things that they have done.  I bet you have some great stories!

 Assessment:  I will assess the studentâs knowledge of the a = /a/ correspondence first by evaluating their reading of A Cat Nap.  For additional assessment I will have each student come to my desk and read short a words (hat, tack, man, chat, bag, sad).

 References: (Beginning Reading/ Aaaa! Being Happy!)

Eldredge, J. Lloyd.  (1995).   Teaching Decoding in Holistic Classrooms.  Prentice-Hall.  1995. p107 ö 110.

A Cat Nap.  Phonics Readers Long Vowels.  Educational Insights

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