Laura deVeer
Emergent Literacy
Pals with Aaa

 When teaching students to read and write, it is critical for them to understand the correlation between graphemes and phonemes.  Short vowels are more difficult than long vowels because short vowels can be spelled and pronounced several different ways. In this lesson we will be working to identify the phoneme /a/ in its oral and written forms.

Primary paper and pencils, dry erase board and marker, index cards, handout with pictures of words that have the /a/ sound.

1. Introduce the lesson by telling students they can recognize the letter Îaâ by understanding what the mouth move sounds like.  We will begin with a= /a/, sometimes it can be tricky, but I know you will catch on quick!
2. Ask the students: Do any of you know any little babies that cry a lot? When babies cry what sound do they make? (/a/) Can everybody say it with me?  That is the sound an Îaâ makes.  We will be listening for that sound today.
3. Iâm going to read this sentence two times and write it on the board.  Just listen the first time and then the second time listen carefully for the /a/ sound.  ãAbbyâs Aunt Allison eats apples in Atlanta.ä  Now I want you to repeat it.
4. Can anyone remind me what letter makes the /a/ sound?  (Pass out paper and pencil)  Now we will practice writing that letter.  Start a little below the fence and circle around towards the window, then to the sidewalk on your paper and back to where you started.  Then draw a straight line down on the side of the circle closest to the door.  I want you to practice writing aâs 5 times and circle your best one.
5. Pass out an index card to each student.  Have them write an Îaâ on one side and an ÎXâ on the other side.  As I call out a list of words one by one, if you hear the /a/ sound hold your card up with the Îaâ side facing me.  If you donât hear the /a/ sound hold the ÎXâ side towards me.  Word List: act, bet, top, cat, hit, van·
6. Introduce the story Pen Pals by telling the students about the characters and the problem they experience. Read the story.  Afterwards, go back through the story and find the words that have the /a/ sound.
7. Assessment: Distribute a handout with pictures of words, some with that do have the /a/ sound and some that donât.  Review the name of each picture and ask the students to circle the pictures that have the do have the /a/ sound in the word.

Assessment: J. Lloyd Eldredge (1995).  Teaching Decoding in Holistic Classrooms: Developing Phonemic Awareness Through Stories, Games, and Songs; 50-70.

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