Little Abby Says “Waaa Waaa”

Jeri Lynn Martin


Rationale: Children have to be able to recognize the phonemes that go with the alphabet in order to succeed in reading, writing, and spelling. This means that all 26 letters of the alphabet have to be matched with vocal gestures in spoken words. Students will become familiar with the phoneme /a/ and grapheme A by using listening and writing skills and recognizing the phoneme/a/ in readings. Also, the students will practice spelling words with /a/. In conclusion, learning this correspondence will allow students to be one step closer to becoming fluent readers.


-copies of Nan and Pap for each student

-primary paper


-chart table paper

-picture of a crying baby

-picture of Aa


1.       Explain to students we are still in the process of breaking the tricky code of the alphabet to become expert readers. ”In order for you to break the code of our alphabet you must know the sounds that each individual letter makes.  

2.       Explain to the students that we will be learning about the letter a today.  “A is our new vowel that we will be learning about today. Does anyone know what an A looks like?”  Show students picture of the letter Aa.

3.       Students need to know when you see an “a” it makes the sound /a/. “Have you ever heard a baby cry? A baby makes the sound “aaaaa” when it cries. Rub your eyes with your hands and say aaaaa!! When you hear our special /a/ sound today I want you to rub your eyes like a baby.” Model saying /a/ for the students several times and then do it together so they can watch your mouth movement. “Watch my mouth say /a/ aaaaa. Now you try it.”

4.       A tongue twister will be written on the board. “Our tongue tickler for today is Andrew and Alice asked if Annie's active animals were angry. Did you hear the /a/ sound? Lets read it together as a class” Read it again as a class and have students focus on the /a/ sound. “Can you hear the /a/ sound in these words? Where do you hear /a/ words?” Now try the tongue twister really slow separating the /a/ sound. Aaa-ndrew and Aaa-lice aaa-sked if Aaa-nnie's aaa-ctive aaa-nimals were aaa-ngry. Great job! You all sounded like crying babies!”

5.       Students will take out their own letterboxes and I will call out /a/ words for them to put on their letterboxes.  “Take out your letterboxes and we are going to practice spelling out /a/ words. Each sound I make with my mouth in a word will go in a box. I will let you know how many boxes you need each time we do a word.” I will model on the projector how to do this just as a reminder. Some words we will use are ant, pan, cat, nap, bag, and ham. “Lets start with pan

p-aaa-n. You will need 3 boxes for the word p-a-n. Remember each box represents one sound. Lets spell p-a-n. Box 1 p, box 2 a, box 3 n. P-a-n = pan.” Now I want you all to try!

6.       Pass out a copy of Nan and Pap to each student. Divide them into pairs and have them read a page at a time to one another. “ Our book is about  two dogs named Nan and Pap. They can do many things. What do you think they can do? Let’s read to find out! I want you to take turns reading Nan and Pap with your partner one page at a time. If you come across a word you don’t know or are unsure of remember to use our cover up method I showed you. If you still can’t figure it out read the sentence and see if the word you are saying makes sense.”  I will be circulating the room to observe and seek those who need help.

7.       I will now read Nan and Pap to the students as a class and we will discuss what the story was about. We will particularly focus on our /a/ words and how they know they are out /a/ words. “I am going to read Nan and Pap to you all. When you hear our /a/ sound I want you to rub your eyes like a crying baby.” This book will be used next time as our familiar story.

8.       Students will be assessed by individually completing a worksheet. They will have a worksheet full of /a/ words. The students will have to identify the /a/ words by determining which pictures make the /a/ sound. This worksheet will be great way for me as a teacher to know if they grasped the phoneme /a/. Also, they will have a second worksheet to complete where they will choose which word makes the /a/ sound and write it on the line to practice their spelling skills. Students will have to be able to read the words in order to know if it is an /a/ word.



Nan and Pap book:

Assessment worksheet:

Assessment worksheet #2:

Tongue tickler:


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