Emily K. Jones
Beginning Reading


          The Cat Ate My Apple

Rationale:  Word recognition is so important to beginner readers.  No matter what level the child is operating on phonemically, he/she must learn to identify the visual forms of individual letters.  Children see text everywhere in their environment, but recognizing it is simply not enough.  They need to be able to connect those individual letters with their individual sounds.  Because short vowels are often the hardest to learn, I will practice short /a/ in this lesson.  After learning the sound and learning what ãaä looks like in words, the child will not only be able to recognize it in print, but also begin to sound out that letter in certain words.

Materials:  Primary paper and pencil; chart with ãAlex asked Anna for an appleä; chart with song on it:
Who has a word that has an /a/?
Has, has, has an /a/?
Who has a word that has an /a/?
Skip to my Lou, my darling!

Apple is a word that has an /a/.
Has, has, has an /a/.
Apple is a word that has an /a/.
Skip to my Lou, my darling!

Have the book, Patâs Jam; letterbox and letters; and picture cards with apple, cat, rat, hat, bag, rug, dog, and fish.

1. Introduce the lesson by explaining to the child how much fun it is to learn to read and spell. We see words everywhere.  We see them on signs, on television, on games, etc.  Today we are going to practice a neat letter.  It is the very first letter in our alphabet.  Do you know what it might be? Yes, it is /a/.  Today I am going to teach you to spot out /a/ in words.
2. Ask students: Have you ever heard a baby cry?  That is the sound we are going to look for in words today.  Letâs pretend we are rappers and rap this word.  Watch me and then we will do it together.  Apple, a-a-a-pple.  Now you try it.  Do you hear the /a/ sound?
3. Letâs try a tongue twister and song to help us learn this letter and sound.  ãAlex asked Anna for an appleä  Can you say this with me?  Letâs rap it now.  ãA-a-a-lex  a-a-a-sked A-a-a-nna for a-a-an a-a-a-pple.ä  Letâs try this song now.  We are going to sing it but add in words that have the /a/ sound.  (incorporate song from Materials list) Nice job!
4. Have students take out primary paper and pencil.  We can use that ãaä to spell /a/.  Letâs write it.  Start below the fence line.  Circle down to the sidewalk and curve back up to the fence making an o.  Now, draw a line from the fence to the sidewalk on the o.  Try writing this a couple of times.  I will come by and check them.
5. Now we are going to work on the sound to the symbol.  I am going to put letters out in front of the child along with the letterboxes. I will model the first word.  I will spell at.  This letter ãaä says /a/ and this letter says /t/.  Together they say at.  Can you spell cat?  Say the sounds of each letter as you try to spell it.  Words: cat, ask, hat, ax, sat, and jam.
6. Read Patâs Jam and talk about it.  Read it again and have students raise green cards if they hear /a/ sound and red cards if they donât.  Then I will have each student write a message about another rat using invented spelling.
7. For an assessment, I will distribute picture cards.  I will place three cards in front of a child and he/she will need to pick out the one that contains the sound and letter we learned today.  I will also test their knowledge by having them individually read me Patâs Jam and taking a running reading record on it.

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