“A” Is For Apple

Erin McGinnis

Emergent Reading Level


Rationale: For children to improve and understand reading they have to understand that letters represent phonemes. Understanding phonemic awareness leads to higher skills of reading alphabetic writing.



A Cat’s Nap, Carson GA: Educational Insights, 1990.

Picture of an apple

Picture of a baby crying


Primary paper




  1. Introduce the lesson by showing the pictures of the apple and the baby crying. Showing the apple first, have the students tell you what the picture is. Repeat the children’s response and drag out the /a/ sound at the beginning of the word. “What letter does the word “apple” start with?” Then show the picture of the baby, and ask what sound a baby makes when it cries? “That sounds like the short /a/ sound.”
  2. Read several words to the children with the short /a/ sound (mad, fast, add, ect.) and have the children repeat the words all together by dragging out the /a/ sound.
  3. Read the children a tongue twister using the short /a/ sound and have the children repeat it again dragging out the /a/ sounds in each word. For example, “Allison is mad at Adam and Dad.” Have the children make up their own tongue twisters, always using the correct correspondences and dragging out the short /a/ sound.
  4. Using our writing paper practice writing the letter “a.” Have the child write the “a” at least 6 times.
  5. Read A Cat’s Nap and concentrate on the /a/ sound each time. To reinforce, remind them that the short “a” sounds like a baby crying.
  6. To assess the children, have a worksheet with pictures of words starting with the short /a/ sound and words starting with other short vowel sounds. Have the children color in the pictures starting with the /a/ sound only. 




A Cat’s Nap, Carson GA: Educational Insights, 1990.


Carrie Sanders, “F” Is For Fish,http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/insp/sanderscel.html


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