You've Got the Right One Baby!

Christina Adams
Emergent Literacy

Rationale: It is necessary for children to understand that letters stand for phonemes and spellings map out phonemes in spoken words before they can read and spell words. Before children know the letters and their corresponding phonemes, they have to be able to recognize phonemes.  Short vowels are probably the toughest phonemes for children to identify.  This lesson will help children identify /a/ (short a) one of the short vowels.  They will learn to recognize /a/ in spoken words by learning a meaningful representation and a letter symbol, and then practice finding /a/ in words.

Materials: Primary paper and pencil, chart with ãAbbyâs apple pie always attracts antsä, set of cards with a on one side and ? on the other, drawing paper and crayons, A Cat Nap, picture page with apples, grass, flowers, pens, dog, cat, cloud, bat, chair, book, crab, and hat.

1. Introduce lesson by explaining that when we speak we make different mouth moves as we say different letters.  The tricky part is learning what mouth moves specific letters stand for.  Today weâre going to work on spotting the mouth move /a/.  /a/ can start a word or it can also be found in the middle of a word.
2. Ask students: Have you ever heard a crying baby that sounds like /a/?  Thatâs the mouth move we are looking for in words.  Letâs pretend that we are all crying babies and say /a/.  Letâs figure out if the word hat has the sound /a/ in it.  Iâll try it first, haaat.  Did you hear it?  In the middle of hat is /a/.
3. Letâs try a tongue twister (on chart.)  ãAbbyâs apple pie always attracts ants.ä  Everybody say it together.  This time say it again and I want you to stretch out the sound /a/ in the words.   ãAaaabyâs aaaaple pie always attraaaacts aaaaants.ä  Try it again and this time break the sound /a/ off of the word.  ã /a/ bbyâs  /a/ pple pie always attr /a/ cts /a/ nts.  Good job!
4. (Have students take out primary paper and pencil).  We can use the letter a to spell /a/.  Letâs write it (teacher models).  Start a little below the fence and draw our letter c down to the sidewalk and curve up a little bit.  Continue up until you get to where you started and then without lifting up your pencil draw straight down to the sidewalk.  I want to see everyoneâs a.  After I look at yours and draw a check mark by it I want you to make a row of aâs just like it.
5. Now we are going to work on recognizing /a/ in words.  Do you hear /a/ in glass or mug? Song or man? Bike or bat?  Fan or dirt?  Sack or purse?  Nap or sleep?  Now Iâm going to give you this card and I want you to show me the /a/ side if you hear the sound /a/ in the word I say, and hold up ? if you do not hear /a/.  (Give words one by one) lock, sat, fed, apple, show, always, mop, abby, he, cab.
6. Teacher will read a book with /a/ and talk about the story.  Read it again, and have students raise their hand when they hear words with /a/.  List their words on the board.  Then have each student draw his own cat and write a story about it using invented spelling.
7. For assessment, distribute the picture pages and help students name each picture.  Ask each student to circle the pictures whose names have /a/.

References: The Genie Website;

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