Aaaaaaaaaa it's a mouse!

Shelby Jordan

Phoneme Awareness Lesson

Rationale: This lesson aims to teach children how to detect /a/ in spoken words and reading. Students will be able to recognize short a by learning memorable representations such as aaaa it's a mouse! This lesson will have children practicing finding /a/ in words and identifying them in spoken words. Short vowels are sometimes very hard for children to identify but with the correct lessons and representations, students will feel comfortable identifying them in spoken words and reading


Primary paper and pencil

Poster with "Abby the alligator asked for an apple after smashing the alley cat"

Pat's Jam (Educational Insight's)

Assessment worksheet





1.Introduce the lesson by telling students our language is a secret code, sometimes it's very tricky to figure out what a letter is trying to say. We have to look at the way our mouth moves as we say words. Today we are going to spot how our mouths move when we say /a/. We spell /a/ with the letter a. /a/ sounds like when you see a mouse and say aaaaaaa!


2.Let's pretend we just saw a mouse, aaaaaaaa, throw up your hands like your scared. Notice that our mouth is open, and our tongue is barely hitting the back of our bottom teeth.


3.Let me show you how I would check for /a/ in alligator. I'm checking for /a/ like I just saw a mouse. I do hear /a/ at the beginning in alligator. Let me check Abby, there's the /a/ again at the beginning. Now, I'm going to check frog. No aaaaaaa in frog. But I hear one at the beginning of Apple.


4.Let's try a tongue tickler (on poster). "Abby the alligator asked for an apple after smashing the alley cat." Everybody say it together three times. Now say it again, and this time, stretch the /a/ sound. Try it again, and this time break it off the word. "/a/bby the /a/lligator /a/sked for an /a/pple /a/fter sm/a/shing the /a/lley c/a/t.


5.(Have students take out primary writing paper and pencil.) We use letter A to spell /a/. Capital A looks like a tee pee with a line in the middle. Let's write the lower case letter a. Start at the sidewalk, go up the fence and back down to the sidewalk to form a circle. Then start at the fence and make a line on the side of the circle down to the sidewalk. I want to see everyone's a's. After I give you a sticker, I want you to make 10 more just like it.


6.Call on students to answer and tell how they knew: Do you hear /a/ in apple or orange? Ashley or Shelby? Fat or skinny? Cash or coins? Let's see if you can spot the mouth open in some /a/ words. Make the aaaa sound when you hear the /a/: mask, mad, flash, glad, sack, pan, brat, pack.


7.Read Pat's Jam and talk about the story. Read it again slowly and ask students to exaggerate the /a/ sound when they hear it. We are going to play a game and see how many /a/ sounds we can find.


8.Show BLACK and model how to decide if it is black or brown: The aaaa sound tells me to open my mouth and throw up my hands like I just saw a mouse.  So this word is blaaaack. You try some: SAT: sit or sat? TAX: tix or tax? CAT: cat or cut? MASK: musk or mask? LUCK: luck or lack?


9.For assessment, distribute the worksheet.

Students will circle the picture that has the /a/ sound in it. Call students individually to read the phonetic cue words from step #8.



-Assessment worksheet:

-Pat's Jam. Educational Insights

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