Baby Don’t Cry! Aaaaaaaaaa!

Sarah Lynn Cowart
Emergent Literacy

Rationale: Children need an understanding that letters stand for phonemes in order to read and spell words. “Phonemic awareness focuses on children’s understanding of the nature of spoken words. (Eldredge, p. 30) ” Phonemic awareness is a sign that children are ready to begin to read. Through this lesson children will show an understanding of the phoneme a =/a/.

Materials: Primary paper and pencil; poster board with “Adam the alligator had apples on his mat” written on it, the book Pat’s Jam, By Sheila Cushman.

1.) Introduce the lesson. “Today boys and girls we are going to talk about a certain letter that makes a certain sound. The letter is a. Can anyone tell me what this letter sounds like? Good! That’s right a makes the /a/ sound.”

2.) “Have you ever heard a baby cry? What does that baby sound like? It says /a/. That’s right the baby says the sound for the letter a. Let’s all see if we can act like a baby and say /a/. Very good boys and girls, you guys are excellent at making the baby sound. 

3.) “Now we are going to try to say a tongue twister. Are you ready? Okay, here it is. Everyone repeat after me. Adam had apples in Alaska. That was great. Now every time we hear /a/. I want us to use a gesture so we can remember that sound easier.” I will show students the gesture of the baby crying and putting our hands up to our eyes. The students will practice doing this when they hear /a/ in the tongue twister.

4.) Ask the students to take out their primary paper and pencil.  “Now that we know what a says. We are going to write out our a so that we can practice writing words that say /a/. Remember that when writing an a we start at the fence come around to the ground, complete the circle and add a tail on at the end. Way to go boys and girls you are doing a great job.”

5.) “Now boys and girls I am now going to say some words. Each time you hear a word with the /a/ sound I want you to do our gesture like a crying baby. If you don’t hear the /a/ sound I want you to say…Awe Shucks! Apples, cookie, add, bet, zipper, alligator, nap, can, tug, slap

6.) We will end this lesson by reading Pat’s Jam. I will read the book to the students while they continue to recognize the sounds and complete the gestures when they hear the /a/ sound. I will assess by using miscue analysis in small groups after the completion of the lesson. This miscue analysis will help me know what correspondences the students are missing and what needs to be taught.

Emily Wheeler. Alabama Alligators.

Eldredge, Lloyd J. (2005). Teach Decoding: Why and How. Pearson Education, Inc. New Jersey. P.30.

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