There’s a Mouse in the House! Aaa!!!

Emergent Literacy
By: Meg Crow

Rationale: One of the most important steps in learning how to read is for the child to be able to recognize phonemes. In order to read and spell words, children need to understand that letters stand for phonemes and the spellings map out the phonemes in spoken words. Short vowels are sometimes hard for children to recognize so this lesson has been planned to help students identify the /a/ (short a). They will learn to recognize /a/ in spoken words by learning a meaningful representation and a letter symbol, and then practice finding /a/ in words. They will also read a story with the /a/ sound.

Materials: Poster board with “Alex and Amanda like to laugh as they eat apple after apple”; primary paper and pencil; Cat in the Hat by: Dr. Seuss; picture page and crayons.

Procedures: 1. Explain to the class that words are made up of different sounds and that sounds are represented by letters. We move our mouth differently to make each of these sounds. Today we are going to learn about the first letter of the alphabet, which sounds like /a/.

2. Ask the students: “Have you ever seen a mouse and said /a/? Well, when I see a mouse I always get scared and open my mouth really wide to say /a/.  Can we all say /a/ together? This is the same sound we hear in apple. Can you hear the /a/ sound in apple?

3. Now, I am going to say a tongue twister and after I say it I want you to try it. (Hold up chart) “Alex and Amanda like to laugh as they eat apple after apple”. Now everyone say it together. Now, let’s say it again and this time try to stretch out the /a/ at the beginning of the words.  Good job.

4. O.K. class, please take out your primary paper and a pencil.  Is everyone ready? We are going to learn how to write the letter a, which makes the sound /a/. Let’s write it now. Start at the fence line. Curve around and down and then back up (like a circle). Now, come back down and draw a stick. Now you have an a. I am going to walk around and look at everyone’s a. After I put a check on your paper, I want you to make a row of a’s just like the first one. When you have finished, I will put a sticker on your work.

5. Now we will read the Cat in the Hat.  Listen for the /a/ sound as we read. After we have read the book, I will ask the children to tell me different words they heard from the book with the /a/ sound. I will write those words on the board.

6. We will do this next task as a class and I will call on individual students to answer my questions. “Do you hear /a/ in pat or rub? cup or glass? bat or cow? ask or tell? apple or peach? truck or cab? bath or tub?”

7. For assessment, I will pass out a picture page and ask the children to color the pictures that have the /a/ sound in them. Then they will write the letter a on the line below the chosen pictures.

Reference:  Eldredge,J.Lloyd.  Teaching Decoding in Holistic Classrooms.  Brigham Young University. Prentice Hall,Mew Jersey (1995). Pg.60-61.

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