Aaaaaa - The Baby is Crying!


Katie Backer

Beginning Readers Lesson Plan


Rationale: This lesson will help children identify the short vowel sound of a = /a/.  Students will learn to recognize /a/ in spoken words by learning a meaningful representation opening their mouth while making the /a/ sound.  I will reinforce the new knowledge through a letter box lesson.



Crying baby /a/ picture

Tongue Tickler "Ally the alligator had a bad attitude." written on a poster

Dry erase board/markers

Checklist and clipboard for assessment

Letterbox and tile letters for each student.

Word list for letterbox lesson and for flashcards (2 - [ab ad] 3 - [mat cab man dad bag hat tag cash sack ] 4 - [stab lamp cash])

Primary paper and pencil, enough for each student

The Reading Genie book Lad and the Fat Cat by Gerri Murray (one for each pair of students)

Assessment words: trash, stamp, thank, smash, black, frack



1. Today we are going to learn about the letter a and the short sound it makes.  When you make the /a/ sound your mouth looks kind of like a baby's mouth does when it cries.  When we make the sound your lips should not be touching.  Let's do something fun to make sure we remember how to make the sound.  Have you ever seen a baby that was crying very loudly?  It makes a /a/ noise.   Can everyone say /a/, like me?  Well that is the sound that the short a makes.  So when you see an a I want you to pretend that you are a crying baby making the /a/ sound.  Put your hands up by your eyes! We really have to pretend.

2. Now I would like you to look at this tongue tickler, "Ally the alligator had a bad attitude." I'm going to say it first, and then I want you to repeat after me.  Okay, we're going to say it one more time, only this time I want you to stretch out the a sound like the crying baby and do your hand motions.  AAAAAlly the aaaaalligator haaaad a baaaaad aaaaatitude.

3. Pass out the letters and letterboxes.  The students should start with only two letter boxes showing because we will begin with our two phoneme words.  As the phonemes increase instruct the students to add letterboxes accordingly.  I will begin the lesson by first modeling how to do the letterbox lesson.  Watch me and I will show you how to make a word using your letterboxes.  If I want to spell the word bark I would use four letterboxes because I hear four different sounds in bald /b/  /a/  /l/  /d/.  I will then put one letter or sound in each box.  Now, we are going to spell some words that have the /a/ sound in them.  Go ahead and organize your letters and have two letterboxes showing.  Please spell the word ad.  Check all the students' spellings.  If they have misspelled the word pronounce the word that they have put down and then say the word you are looking for.  Do this using all of the words listed.  Now I will show you some words written on cards, I want you to say them aloud as I turn them over.  Go through all of the cards allowing the students to say the words aloud.

4. Next I will introduce a new book by giving a book talk.  Lad is a big, happy dog.  He loves lying on his bed.  He decides he wants to go lay down for a nap but when he gets to his bed there is a cat laying on it!  To find out what happens, you'll have to read the story.

5.  To assess what the students have learned I will give each of them a word off of our word list and ask them to say it for me.  I will use a checklist to make sure I know which ones understand a = /a/ and who needs more practice.



Open Your Mouth and Say Ah! By Alison Gray Chamberlin

Lad and the Fat Cat


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