The Crying Baby says Waa! Waa!

Emergent Literacy

Jennifer Wood

To learn to read children need to know that words are made up of letters. Each letter is represented by a phoneme, which is a sound followed with a "vocal gesture" or the way your mouth moves. Every phoneme has a spelling, a grapheme, with it. I will give an example for the short a sound which is a = /a/. This is the phoneme and grapheme we will be learning today. Students will learn how to recognize /a/ in spoken words by learning a meaningful name and they will practice finding /a/ in words.

Primary paper and a pencil, a chart with the tongue twister, "Ally the alligator is eating all of Al's apples." , cards with pictures of animals, a book, A Cat Nap, a picture page with illustrations of a bowl, cat, bag, bat, tree, dog, man, and a child.

1. I will introduce the lesson by explaining that writing is a secret code and that letters stand for our mouth moves we make as we say words. Today we are going to learn the "vocal gesture" when we say /a/.

2. Ask students: Have you every heard a baby cry? What sound do you hear? Can you hear the /a/ sound in aaa! aaa!?  Good. This is the sound we're looking for in words for today. I'll show you how to hear the /a/ sound in Wa! Wa! Now stretch out the word and see if you say, /a/, in waa! waa! I'll say cat, and then stretch it out. Listen. Ccca-a-a-a-at. Ca-a-a There. I said the crying sound, /a/ in waa! waa!

3. I am going to read this tongue twister on the chart. "Ally the alligator is eating all of Al's apples." Let's all say it together. Let's say it one more time, but this time stretch out /a/ at the beginning of the words. "Aaally the aaalligator is eating all of Aaal's aaaples." Let's try to say the tongue twister again, but now we will break off /a/ from the appropriate word: /a/  lly the /a/  lligator is eating all of /a/  l's /a/  pples." Great Job.

4. At this time students you will take out your primary paper and a pencil. When we are learning the /a/, we can match the sound with a lowercase vowel named a. We are going to practice writing the letter a. On your paper we will begin to write a together. Start just under the roof. Curve your pencil down to the basement, curve your pencil back up to the roof, walk straight down to the basement without picking up your pencil. I will come around to look at all of your  a's. After I put a check on it, I want you to make a row of a's just like it. When you see the letter a, that is the signal to say /a/ in waa.

5. I will show students pictures of animals. I will call out a pair of animals and ask the student to answer if they hear the /a/ in one of those animals. If their answer is correct, I will ask them to make a sound or gesture that animal makes. Do your hear /a/ in Cat or horse? Rat or mouse? Frog or rabbit? Bird or bat? Alligator or pig?

6. I will read a book, A Cat Nap,  and talk about the story. I will read it again and tell the students to listen out for words with /a/. When they hear a word, raise their hand and I will write it on the board.

7. For the assessment, I will pass out a picture page and help them name the pictures correctly. I will call out the pitures names and ask them to listen for the short a sound. I will ask each student to circle the pictures whose names have /a/.

References: AU, A Cat Nap, Carson, Educational Insights, 1990
Lesson Reference: Dr. Murray's lesson example

Assessment:  Circle the pictures whose names have /a/.


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