The Plain Train sat in the Rain
order for children to become good readers they must be able to
alphabetic code. It is also very
important that teachers teach their children common letter
correspondences. In this lesson the
children will learn the
vowel correspondence ai=/A/. In
this lesson students will become familiar
with the /A/ phoneme when represented as the ai grapheme,
reading ai, and
writing words that contain the ai correspondence.
copies of James and the Good Day
Letterboxes drawn on the chalkboard and chalk
Letterboxes and the letters a, c, d, e, h, I, k, l, m, n, p, r, s, and t
- Begin the lesson by reviewing the
a_e=/A/. After reviewing this
correspondence have the children pair up and reread the book James
and the Good Day. As the students
reread the book the teacher should walk around the classroom and
observe to be sure that the students are reading and to see if any of
the students need any help.
- After the students have read the book,
spend a few minutes discussing the book.
- Write the following tongue twister on
the board: The Plain Train sat in the Rain. As
a class say the tongue twister making sure to enunciate the ai=/A/
- Explain to the children that the ai and the a_e both make the /A/ sound.
- Have the students get out their
letterboxes and their letters. The teacher
should have his or her boxes drawn on the board. Review
that when using the a_e that the silent e
goes on the outside of the last box, and that the ai
is a team and they go in the same box. The
teacher may want to do a few examples on the board.
- Start the letterbox lesson. With each word the teacher should specify the
number of boxes needed, and give a sentence using the word. The words for the letterbox lesson are: (2)
aim, ape, aid, (3) rain, sail, cake, chain, laid, (4) train, state, and
claim. As the students are spelling the
words on their letterboxes the teacher should walk around the classroom
to observe and help any student that may need help.
- Have the children put away the
letterboxes and the letters.
- On the board write: __________ and
__________ make the /A/ sound. Have the
students get out a blank piece of white paper and crayons.
On the paper have the children write the sentence that you
have on the board. Then tell the children
to make two columns on their paper. One
column for that ai and the other for the a_e.
The teacher may have to demonstrate
on the board. Also be sure to tell the
students to fill in the blanks to the sentence, and be sure to tell the
students that they must draw and label four objects that have the ai and a_e correspondences and their
names in the proper columns. This
assignment can be completed in class or as homework.
The teacher may also want to have magazines so the children
can cut out pictures of objects with the correspondences in their name.
- To further assess the student’s
comprehension of the correspondence taught, the teacher may want to
make flash cards with pseudo-words on them that use the correspondence. The teacher could flash the cards to the
students individually or as an entire class and have the students
pronounce the pseudo-word. If the children
can pronounce the word they have probably understood what has been
Tonya, The Rain in Sprain Stays Mainly in the Plains, www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/elucid/richbr.html
Bruce A. and Lesniak,
Theresa. “The letterbox lesson: A
hands-on approach for teaching decoding.” The Reading
Teacher. Vol 52, No. 6. March 1999. p. 644-650
Click here to return to Guidelines