“A” What Did You Say?

Kim Willis

Beginning Reading

A key ingredient to fluency is to learn how to read and spell words.  One aspect of words that can be challenging to students is a diagraph.  A diagraph is one phoneme or grapheme made up of more than one letter.There are many different diagraphs.  This lesson will focus on the ay=/A/ correspondence.  After the completion of this lesson, the students should be able to identify words in written and spoken language that contain ay=/A/.

Primary paper, pencil, chart with rhyme, class set of cards with ay on one side and a question mark on the other, book – Ray and the Blue Jay, picture page for assessment containing pictures of a child playing (play), the color gray (gray), someone praying (pray), a person paying for something at a checkout counter (pay), and a building swaying (sway), Elkonin Letter Boxes, alphabet letters for each student, oversized letterbox set to be used for whole class modeling.

1.  Today we are going to learn some words that use the letter a and the letter y.  Together they form to make a new sound.  Sometimes when you put letters together they can make a new sound.  How cool is that?  Now we are going to learn about the sound a and y make when they are combined.
2.  Remember we learned that when we see the a by itself it makes the /a/ sound like a crying baby.  For example in the words back and hat you hear the /a/ sound.  Today we are going to add y to the a to make the /A/ sound.  Have you ever had trouble hearing a question someone asked you?  Some people respond by putting their hand up to their ear while at the same time saying /A/.  Let’s put our hand behind our ear and practice saying /A/.
3.   Now I would like for everyone to look at the chart while I read the tongue twister:  Today the hay is far away from Kay. Now let’s say it together and stretch out the /A/ sound.  Todaaaaaay the haaaaaay, is far awaaaaay from Kaaaaay.  What words did we hear that had the ay=/A/ sound? Very Good! Today, hay, kay, away,
4. Now lets practice reading and spelling words that contain ay=/A/.  Teacher will hang up her enlarged size letter boxes on the board and invite the students to take out their letterboxes and letters.  The enlarged letter boxes will be used for the purpose of modeling to the students.  First, I am going to spell out some letters in my boxes on the board and I want to see if you can read it.  Remember, I am going to put one mouth move in each box so our ay letters will be in one box because they make one sound.  Our first word is hay.  We should use on two letterboxes.  H-ay.  Now I am going to call out words and I would like for everyone to spell them out in their letterboxes.  Some sample ay words for a letterbox lesson along with some review words are as follows:  mad, way, wash, sway, cave, slay, same, stray.  When you are finished spelling the word, raise your hand so I can come around to see how you did.  As the teacher is walking around she will make sure students know when to add boxes.  After the students have spelled out all the words in the boxes, the teacher will post the spellings of the words on the board and have the class read them aloud together.
5.  Now I will distribute the cards out to the students.  On one side of the card is a picture of ay and the other side is a slash mark.  If students hear a word with /A/  then they are to show the ay, but if they do not hear the /A / sound they are to show the slash mark.   Sample Questions:
Do you hear ay=/A/ in May or March?
Stay or Stop?
Lay or Lie?
Play or Work?
Great Job Class
6.  I have a story that I would like for you to read.  It is called Ray and the Blue Jay.  While you are reading, pay attention to the different ay words.  When you are finished, write a story about a bird. 
7.  For assessment, I will distribute a picture page (see materials).  I will help the students name the pictures on the page.  After we have named each picture, I would like for everyone to circle the pictures whose names have the ay=/A/ correspondence.

Today is May by Laura Meadows

A? I Can’t Hear You by Emily Barnes

The Reading Genie Website


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