Brantley Cole


Rationale:  This lesson targets the long vowel correspondence a_e=/A/. In order to read proficiently, children must understand that letters make different sounds when they are used in different spellings. In this lesson students will learn to recognize the a_e=/A/ correspondence, and will also learn to spell and read words using this correspondence. They will learn will learn a meaningful representation of the sound (Fonzie saying “aaayyy” with thumbs up), spell and read words containing this spelling in a Letterbox lesson, and read a decodable book that focuses on the a_e=A correspondence.

Materials: Graphic image of Fonzie; whiteboard or SMARTboard Elkonin boxes and magnetic or SMARTboard letters; Elkonin boxes and letter manipulatives for each student: c, a, k, e, d, t, b, l, oo, s, h, g, m, p; list of spelling words on poster: cake, date, bat, lake, look, shake, ate, game, late, gap, place; decodable text (The Race for the Cake) and assessment worksheet.


1. Some words have tricky spellings, and that these tricky spellings make letters say different sounds than they normally do. In order to become expert readers we need to make sure we know when a word is being tricky so we know which sound to make! We have already learned to read short vowel words with a, like hat and cat, so today we are going to learn about long A and the silent e that tells us that the A is saying its name, /A/. When I say /A/ I want you to think of Fonzie saying “aaayyyy” and giving a thumbs up! (show image of Fonzie giving a thumbs up and have the child give a thumbs up and say “aaaayyyy!”)


2. Say: Before we learn about the spelling of /A/, we need to listen for it in some words. When I listen for /A/ in words, I hear a say its name /A/. When I make this sound, my lips look almost like I’m smiling but my mouth is opened a little wider and my tongue touches the back of my bottom teeth. Watch my lips when I say the word “cake.” Did you see my mouth make the /A/ movement? Now let’s see if the long A sound is in “Coke.” Did you hear the A say its name? Did you see my lips make the /A/ movement? (no) That’s because Coke doesn’t have a long A! Now you try. If you hear the /A/ sound, say “Aaayyy!” and give me a thumbs up. If you don’t hear the /A/ sound, give me a thumbs down. Is it in date, bat, lake, look, shake?


3. Say: Now let’s look at the spelling of the /A/ that we’ll learn today. One way to spell /A/ is with the letter a and a signal letter e at the end of the word to tell me that the A is saying its name. [I will write a_e on the board.] This blank line is where a consonant would go, between the a and the e. Let’s add a letter where the blank is and read the new word with the /A/ vowel sound. [write the word “ate.”] Here’s the signal e and it tells me to have the a say its name /A/, which makes the word say ate instead of saying at. Now I’m going to show you how I would spell ate in a letterbox. First I’m going to count how many phonemes are in the word ate. /A/ /t/, that’s two. I’ll need two letterboxes. A goes in the first box, T goes in the second box, and E goes on the outside because we can’t hear it. Now you all try spelling ate in your own letterboxes. I will walk around the room to check your work.


4. Say: Now I’m going to have you spell some words in letterboxes. You’ll need three letterboxes for the next word. Listen for the beginning sound so you know which letter goes in the first box. Then listen for the /A/ and don’t forget that the silent e goes outside the box because you can’t hear it. The word is game. I went to a football game last night. [give students time to spell the word] Now watch how I spell the word in my letterbox on the board: g – a- m- e. Did you spell it the same way I did? Try another word with three boxes: late. Don’t be late to class! [Have a volunteer show how to spell the new word on the letterbox on the board] Now listen to see if the next word has /A/ in it before you spell it: gap. Did you need a silent e? Why not? Right, because we don’t hear a say its name. [volunteer will spell gone on the board letterboxes.] The next word will be 4 phonemes: place. [have child model on board letterboxes] Now I’m going to let you read the words you’ve spelled. [display poster with words and have children read words in unison. Then call on individual students to read words on the list until all students have done so.]


5. Say: Now I am going to let you read the words you’ve spelled. [Have children read words in unison. Afterwards, call on individuals to read one word on the list until everyone has had a turn.]


6. Say: You’ve done a great job and reading words with our new spelling for /A/: a_e. Now we are going to read a book called The Race for the Cake. After a long day of swimming Ben and Jess can’t wait to eat the cake that Mom just baked! They race to be the first one to get some cake, but the story takes a surprising twist when a new character joins the race! Read to see who gets to the cake first! [Children pair up and take turns reading alternate pages each while teacher walks around the room monitoring progress. After individual paired reading, the class rereads Race to the Cake aloud together, and stops between page turns to discuss the plot.]


7. Say: Before we finish up with our lesson about one way to spell /A/ = a_e, I want to see how much you’ve learned. This worksheet has lots of words and pictures. Some of the words may have the /A/ sound, but some may not. Some of the pictures may be of things with the /A/ sound, like a picture of a whale, but other pictures may not be of a thing with the /A/ sound. Your job is to cut out the words and pictures, and then put them in one group if it has the /A/ sound, and in another group if it doesn’t have the /A/ sound. When you think all of your words and pictures are in the right place, raise your hand for me to check your work. After I have checked your work you may glue down your words and pictures to your paper.


/A/ Gesture:

Beginning to Read Lesson Design:

Murray, G. (2004) Race to the Cake, Reading Genie:

Phonics Worksheet:

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