Ay? I Can't Hear You!

Beginning Reading Lesson
Julianne Robinson

Rationale: This lesson teaches students about the long vowel A correspondence ay=/A/. A key ingredient to fluency is to learn how to read and spell words. Children need to understand and recognize the spellings that the map how to pronounce a word. In this lesson, students will learn how to recognize, spell and read words that contain ay. They will learn a meaningful representation (an old man hard of hearing saying ayyy?), they will spell and read words containing this spelling in a Letterbox lesson, and finally read a decodable book that focuses on the correspondence ay=/A/.

Materials: Image of an old may leaning in to hear better saying ay?, coverup critter, pencil, Letters and Letterboxes for each individual student or a board to draw boxes on, letter tiles for each student, chart with the tongue twister: Today, Kay and May go away to bail hay, chalk or markers for board, the decodable book Ray and the Blue Jay, assessment page



1. Say: In order to become expert readers we need to learn the code that tells us how to pronounce words. We have already learned to read short vowel words with /a/ like 'cat', but today we are going to learn about the long A like in 'bay.' When I think of /A/, I think of an old man who is hard of hearing and he leans in close with his hand to his ear and says ,"ayyyy??" (show image). Now let's look at the spelling of the /A/ we'll learn today. The two letters that work together to form /A/ are 'a' and 'y'. We combine them together to make one sound that says it's name. Let's learn about that new sound.


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/ and feel my mouth open up and stretch wide almost into a smile. I'll show you first: play. I heard a say its name and I felt my mouth open wide from side to side. There is a long A in play! Now I'm going to see if it's in park.  Hmm, I didn't hear a say its name and my lips didn't make widen. Now you try. If you hear /A/ say, "ayyy" and put your hand next to your hear. If you can't hear it say 'nope!' Ready? "Is it in stray, tag, mad, may, hurray, coat, lay.


3. Let's try a tongue tickler that has lots of /A/'s in it. Everyone look at the chart please. "Today Kay and May go away to bail hay." Now let's say it together. What words did we hear that had the ay=/A/ sound? Very Good! Today, Kay, May, away, hay"


4. I think you're getting the hang of this! What if I want to spell the word bay? "The seagull flew over the bay." To spell tray in letterboxes, first I need to know how many phonemes I have in the word so I stretch it out and count: /t//r//ay/. I need 3 boxes. I heard that /A/ just after the /tr/ so I'm going to put an a and a y in the 3rd box. The word starts with /t/, that's easy; I need a t. Now I have one box left and it gets a little tricky so I'm going to say it slowly /t//r//ay/. I think I heard growling /r/ after the t. I'll add that in my second box.


5. Now I'll show you how I would read a tough word. [Display poster with tray on the top and model reading the word.] I'm going to start with the 'ay'; that part says /A/. Now I'm going to put the beginning letters with it: tr, /t//r/. Now I'll put that chunk together with the last sound, /tr//ay/. Oh, tray!


6. Say: Now I'm going to have you spell some words in letterboxes. You'll start out easy with two boxes for bay. A bay is a large body of water. "The seagull flew over the bay" What should go in the first box? [Respond to children's answers]. What goes in the second box? I'll check your spelling while I walk around the room. [Observe progress.] You'll need three letterboxes for the next word. Listen for the beginning sound to spell in the first box. Then listen for /A/ and don't forget that you need two letters to make the /A/ sound. Here's the word: fray. "My jeans are so old they are beginning to fray"; fray. [Allow children to spell remaining words: way, pay, clay, gray, and today.]


7. 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.]


8. Say: You've done a great job and reading words with our new spelling for /A/: ay. Now we are going to read a book called Just for Today. This is a story is about a very busy bear family! They decide to take a day off and just be together as a family. Read to see how they spend their day relaxing. Let's pair up and take turns reading Just for Today. [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 Just for Today aloud together, and stops between page turns to discuss the plot.]


9. For assessment, I will allow the children to practice writing/spelling the new correspondence ay=/A/.

Say, "Now boys and girls, I am going to see how much you remember about the /A/ sound. I am going to say two words at a time. I want you to write down the word that you hear the /A/ sound in. If you don't spell it correctly, it's ok. Do the best you can. Do you hear the /A/ sound in play or pet? " The teacher would continue to do this using words from the letterbox lesson or the book



Beginning reading:

Adapted from: http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/discov/barnesbr.html

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