Knowledge of letters and the ability to separate phonemes in spoken
words are the two best predictors of reading success (Adams,
In this lesson, students will gain awareness
of the phoneme /a/ and practice identifying/forming its corresponding
Picture of a child screaming
at a silly monster.
erase marker or chalk
boxes for each student in the group
letter tiles for each student in the group
with "The ant ate the apple in Ann’s bag."
copies of A Cat Nap (Educational Insights, 1990).
pages with correct number of letterboxes beneath each picture.
#1 – Begin the lesson by
that we use letters to represent the sounds in our language. Then
"In order to become an expert reader, you must learn each letter
and the sound that it makes.
#2 – Write Aa on the
board. "Today we are going to
learn about the letter Aa. This
letter makes the /a/ sound." Show
the students the picture of a child screaming at a silly monster.
Ask students: "Can
you tell me what is going on in this picture? That’s
right, the little kid is screaming
aaaaa. Have you ever screamed aaaaaa
(modeling with hands to face)? When you
scream aaaaa, you are making the sound that the letter a makes. Let’s try it
#3 – "Now let’s do a tongue
twister! I’ll read it first. (Pointing
to each word) The ant ate the apple in Ann’s bag. Let’s
read it together.
Great Job! This time, I would
like you to stretch out all of the a’s.
The /aaaa/nt /aaaa/te the /aaaa/pple in /Aaaa/nn’s b/aaaa/g.
#4 – "Now that you all know the
letter Aa makes the /a/ sound, we are going
to practice hearing this
sound in some words. Are you
ready? Do you hear /a/ in cat or
dog? In house or hat? In sand or land? Good Job!"
#5 – "Please take out your
paper and a pencil. We are going to
writing A and a. First,
we will write big A. We’re going
to start at the grass, go up to the sky, go back down to the grass, and
draw a line in the middle (model on the board). Let
your neighbor check your work. Now, I
would like you to write seven more A's on your
paper (walk around to observe students’ writing).
Next, we are going to practice writing
little a. We’re going to start at
the fence, go around
to the grass, back up to the fence, and then straight down. Let
your neighbor check your work. Now, I would like you to write
seven more a's
(walk around to observe students’ writing).
#6 – Pass out Elkonin
and tiles. "Now that we know what
sound the letter Aa makes and how to write it, we are
some words that use this letter.
Suppose I wanted to spell the word cat.
Because the word cat has three sounds /c/a/t/, I’m
to unfold three boxes. Now, let me
think of the first sound in cat.
/c/c/c/at. I hear the /c/
sound. The letter c makes that
sound. I will put
a c in the
first box. The
next sound I hear in cat
is /a/a/a/. What
letter makes that
sound? Right, the letter a. I will put an a in the second
box. Now for the last sound.
It’s the /t/ sound. The letter t
makes that sound."
#7 – "Now it’s your turn! Let’s try some words that have three
sounds. You will need to unfold three
boxes. The first word is hat. Once everyone at your
table has spelled the
word, compare your answers." Model
spelling the word hat on the board.
Repeat this process with the following words: 3-[nap, can, and],
4-[back, flag, clap].
#8 – Write bag on the
board. " Please raise your hand if
you would like to read this word for the class. Good
Job! Let's practice
reading this word together.
/b/a/g. Bag." Repeat
this process with cap,
ran, pals, and
#9 – "Find the book entitled A
Cat Nap. This book
is about a cat
named Tab. Tab loves to take naps in
strange places. In order to find out
where Tab takes a nap, you’ll have to read A Cat Nap." Allow students to read
individually or with a partner (partners – read alternate pages).
"After you finish reading the story,
write about your favorite part."
each student read the
following list of
words: at, rag,
and, lap, man, and
slap. Record each student's
Adams, Lacey. "Aaaaaah!!! Please Don’t Cry Baby."
Adams, M.J. (1990). Beginning
to Read: Thinking and Learning About Print.
of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
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