Baby Talk

By: Margaret Ann Hinshaw

Rationale: It is important that children become phonemically aware. In order to do this students need to understand words, syllables, and phonemes. The best way to go about this is to have students begin learning their short  vowel sounds. In this lesson, students will be come familiar with /a/. They will learn to identify /a/ in spoken words by using meaningful representation and practice finding it in written words.

Paper, pencils, apple cut-outs, chart paper with "Annie the astronaut always asks Dad for apples", apple tree on board, A Cat Nap from Educational Insights.

Procedures: 1. Introduce the lesson: "Today we are going to talk like babies!" "Who can tell me the main way babies communicate with us before the can talk?" "Right, they cry.. aaaaaa, aaaaaa" "Well, today we are going to work on spotting that /a/ sound in our everyday talk."
2) Practicing the sound: "Ok, let's all do our best baby cries....." "Very good little babies!" "We are now going to come back to grown up land and practice saying the /a/ sound like big kids." Let's work with our tongue twister: "Annie the astronaut always asks Dad for apples." Let's repeat it together three times, be sure to emphasize the /a/ sound when you hear it. You might want to put your fists to your cheeks like a baby would when they cry to help you remember the /a/ sound.
3) Have the students take out their paper and pencil. " We are going to practice writing the letter a." "The letter a looks like a little rain drop with a tail." "Let's practice drawing our lowercase a's across the first line of our paper." "When you see this letter in a word, that's your cue to remember our crying baby sound... aaaaaa."
4) "Now we are going to work with a few words that have the /a/ sound." "Here are a few examples: Map, cat, bat." Do you hear the /a/ sound in these words?" Call on students to answer the following: Hold up your apple when u hear the /a/ sound. Do you hear /a/ in an or on? after or before? always or never? ask or tell? fat or thin? mom or dad? glass or cup?
5) Read A Cat Nap to the class. Have them make their baby face when they hear the /a/ sound in the reading.
Assessment:  Have students come up with one /a/ word on their own and write that word for them on their apple, and then have them hang it on the apple tree. Go over the tree as a class to make sure that everyone chose a word that has the /a/ sound.


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