Ann Reid Young
Emergent Literacy

 waaahhh cries the baby!

Rationale: A child needs to learn how to identify phonemes before they become familiar with letters.  Children can then be taught that the sounds that they make in every day life are really sounds of actual letters.  This lesson is designed to help students learn to recognize /a/.  The short vowel sound will be recognized by students with a  few lessons and games.  The lessons will include words with the short /a/ sound and some without it so the student can distinguish differences in sounds.

Materials: Primary paper, pencil and crayons; a poster with a picture of a baby crying and a bubble comin out of it's mouth crying "waaahhh";  a poster with a picture of a slide on it and velcro at the top and velcro at the bottom for letters; a small square for each letter a, c, t, f, b, h, d, m, l, and p with velcro on the back; flash cards with the words dad, flat, mat, clap, ask, bag, wax, pit, top, cut, big, and pet; Pat's Jam (Phonics Readers).

Procedures: 1. Introduce the lesson by explaining that every word needs a vowel.  Also, explain to the students that when we make a noise, we are making the sound of a certain letter.  Show this to them by showing them the picture of the baby.  Say, "Have you ever hear a baby crying?  Well, the baby is making the short /a/ sound, "waaahhh", and that is what we are going to work on today".

2. Take out the poster of the slide and the cards of letters.  Ask children, "Have you ever been afraid to go down the slide on the playground?  Well, vowels can't go down a slide alone either".  Then the teacher can tell the students, "Along came two friends", and the teacher brings out two consonants.  There will be a 'c' put at the top to help /a/ down and a 't' put at the bottom to wait for /a/.  The teacher will then instruct the students to say the aaahhh sound as she slides the /a/ down the slide.  The student and teacher together will blend the three letters into the word 'cat'.  This will be done with the words cat, fat, cab, had, mad, lap, and pat.

3. Have the students get out the primary paper and pencil.  Explain that the three lines on their paper stand for three things.  The top line represents the roof, the middle represents the fence, and the bottom represents the sidewalk.  Instruct the students to start at the roof and curve down to the sidewalk and back up to the roof, then trace the same line back down to the sidewalk and make a tail almost up to the fence but not quite, all of this without lifting their pencil.  After showing them on the board, get the students to write 10 a's themselves using the same method.

4. The teacher can then tell the students, "now I am going to show you some cards that have some words on them and you can tell me which ones have the /a/ sound and which ones don't.  The teacher will then show the flash cards and make sure the students know what /a/ looks and sounds like opposed to other vowels. (The teacher will help read the words to the students.)

5.  Last, the teacher will read Pat's Jam to the class and talk about the story.  Read it again and have the students say "aaahhh" every time they hear an /a/ word.  List those words on the board.  Have students draw a picture of anything with /a/ in it (i.e. cat or bat).  The students can make up their own rhyming sentence or verse with /a/ (i.e. The cat sat on the mat.) about their picture.  The teacher can write it if they need help.

6. Make sure that the children have drawn pictures with /a/ and then have each student present their picture to the class.  The class can then guess what the picture is and the student can tell the class their rhyme and the class can say it together.

Assessment: The teacher will read out words and the class has to write down every word that has a short a in it.  The words will be act, ask, pat, gas, tip, up, bat, rat, foot, sob, mad, and pale.

Reference: Eldredge, Lloyd J.  Teaching Decoding in Holistic Classrooms.  Prentice Hall Inc.  c, 1995.  p. 184

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