Dad’s Fat Hat

Beginning Reader


By: Volandra Holloway





Rationale: Beginning readers need to know letters and the phonemes that match. “Short vowels are harder to identify than long vowels.” (Adams, 1990) This lesson will help students learn to read, write, and spell words with a=/a/.

Materials: “Pat’s Jam” by: Sheila Cushman, primary paper and pencil, chart with “Pat has dad’s black cap.” Picture page with hat, cup, bag, girl, cat, dog, apple, flag, boy, bat, individual letterboxes for each student, letters needed: b, a, t, m, p, g, r, w

1.  Start by telling children that a=/a/. For example hat, cat, bat. In order to read words like those you will have to know a=/a/. “Today we’re going to read, write, and spell words that have /a/ in them.

2.  “Can anyone tell me other words that have the /a/ sound?” [sat, bag, apple] “Those are all correct. Very good!”

3.  “Who can tell me the noise that sheep make? [baaa, baaa] “Very good! The word baaa has the /a/ sound in it. Let’s pretend like we’re sheep and say baaa.” [baaa, baaa] “Excellent!”

4.  “Now, I’m going to call out some words and each time you hear the /a/ sound in a word, I want you to pretend like you’re sheep and say baaa. Let’s practice.” “Cat” [baaa, baaa] “that” [baaa, baaa] “girl” [?] “Very good.” “Let’s say this tongue twister together; Pat has dad’s black cap. Again when you hear the /a/ sound say baaa.”

5.  “Now let’s practice writing the /a/ sound. Take out your pencil and paper. Let’s write cat. Can someone come to the board and show us how cat is spelled?” [That’s correct]. Continue with a list of words.

6.  Introduce letterbox lesson to children. “Okay boys and girls now we are going to do a letterbox lesson. I’ll tell you the number of boxes you need then I will tell you the word to spell. There should be one letter in each box.” The list of words are: bat, map, tag, rat, wag, trap, brag.

7.  “Next we’re going to do partner reading. This will help you become better readers. Take out “Pat’s Jam and find a partner. Start reading.”

8.  Pass out picture page. Say: “Let’s read the words on this page together. Now I want you to circle each picture that has the /a/ sound in its name. Let’s do a few together. Would you circle cat [yes] dog [no] Good! Okay now finish the rest.”

Reference: Adams, Marilyn J., Beginning to Read: Thinking and Learning about Print.,
Urbana, 1990, 73- 87.

Murray, B.A., and Lesniak, T., The letterbox lesson: A hands-on approach for teaching decoding., (1999), 52& 644-650.

Educational Insights by: Sheila Cushman

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